Ofgem launches probe into efficiency failures

LONDON Wed May 1, 2013 8:55am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - British energy regulator Ofgem said it would launch an investigation into six of the country's energy suppliers who it said had failed to meet all targets on providing consumers with efficiency measures.

Ofgem said on Wednesday that, while providers had achieved 99 percent of energy efficiency targets set by the government, some companies including Centrica's British Gas, Drax, Iberdrola's Scottish Power and SSE had missed targets.

The investigation is a sign that the government and regulator are taking an increasingly tough stance against energy suppliers, after a series of fines for mis-selling and at a time when energy bills are rising and wages are flat.

The energy efficiency targets were part of a plan to help lower energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Under the measures, energy suppliers were obliged to provide customers, and in particular vulnerable consumers such as people on low incomes or the elderly, with insulation for their lofts and walls and replace inefficient boilers.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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