Utilita Energy fined for failing to meet carbon emission reduction obligations
Energy watchdog Ofgem has fined Utilita Energy £175,000 after the provider failed to meet its carbon reduction obligations under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme between 2015 and 2018.
ECO is a UK Government energy efficiency scheme, administered by Ofgem, to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
The scheme promotes energy efficiency measures to help fuel poor and vulnerable households heat their homes and cut bills, for example by replacing a broken heating system or upgrading an inefficient heating system.
Ofgem found that Utilita Energy failed to deliver its obligations for ECO2, the second phase of the scheme which ran from April 2015 to September 2018.
It missed its overall target to reduce carbon emissions from customers’ homes (the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation or CERO) by 2%. It also missed targets for two sub-obligations – to reduce carbon emissions for vulnerable households in rural areas and to insulate homes with solid walls – by 20% and 3% respectively.
As a result of not delivering these carbon savings, consumers, some of whom might have been vulnerable, could have missed out on savings of £30,000 on energy bills.
Utilita Energy said that its lack of monitoring led to over-delivery against some obligations and the under-delivery against others, leading to non-compliance.
For its failings, Utilita Energy has volunteered to provide more regular updates for the next phase of the scheme, ECO3 and has assured Ofgem it has the processes in place that will effectively manage its delivery.
Utilita Energy has also agreed to pay £175,000 to consumers via the energy redress fund.
Ofgem has decided not to take formal enforcement action, taking into account the steps Utilita Energy has taken to address its failings and the redress it has agreed to pay.