May 30, 2014 / 10:12 AM / 3 years ago

Britain fines SSE for slow energy customer connections

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - Britain's energy regulator Ofgem has imposed a 750,000 pound ($1.25 million) fine on the power distribution subsidiary of utility SSE for the slow grid connection of around 200 customers between 2010-2013, the body said on Friday.

SSE agreed to pay the sum to the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust, an association that helps rural residents with the cost of connecting to the electricity grid.

The regulator said it found SSE did not meet the three-month connection deadline for the customers concerned between August 2010 and September 2013.

"We were extremely disappointed to discover this issue with our systems last year that impacted on the service we provided to our customers," said SSE Power Distributions Managing Director Mark Mathieson.

At the time, the company paid the customers affected up to 1,000 pounds, he added.

The utility was fined 500,000 pounds for the same offense in 2011 when it pledged to install better connection systems. Friday's fine is higher than the penalty given in 2011 to reflect the fact that SSE breached the same licence conditions again, the regulator said.

Last week, the regulator fined SSE rival Scottish Power 750,000 pounds for overcharging customers who were not paying their bills using direct debit. ($1 = 0.5982 British Pounds) (Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by William Hardy)

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