August 29, 2018 / 9:55 AM / 24 days ago

Centrica's British Gas pays 2.7 million pounds for overcharging customers

LONDON (Reuters) - Centrica’s (CNA.L) British Gas, Britain’s largest energy supplier, has paid 2.65 million pounds after it wrongly overcharged some customers, regulator Ofgem said on Wednesday.

The money was paid in refunds and compensation to affected customers and to Ofgem’s charitable fund used for schemes such as making homes more energy efficient.

Britain’s energy suppliers are under scrutiny from the government, with Prime Minister Theresa May pledging in October to impose controls to tackle what she called “rip-off” energy prices.

British Gas overcharged 94,211 customers a total of 782,450 pounds due to a system error after they switched supplier, Ofgem said.

British Gas also wrongly informed 2.5 million customers that exit fees were chargeable and incorrectly charged 1,698 fixed-deal customers.

Ofgem opened an investigation in July 2017 following concerns raised by consumer group Moneysavingexpert.com.

Centrica said it has resolved the issues leading to the errors, while Ofgem said the company refunded and compensated the customers affected before its investigation had concluded.

“Those who were charged too much were promptly refunded as soon as we identified the issue and were paid an additional goodwill gesture,” a Centrica spokesperson said by email.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale, editing by Louise Heavens

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