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'Ethical' energy provider named as worst offender by regulator

Ed Clowes
Pylons

A power supplier which touts its ethical credentials has been named as the worst in the industry for environmental and social breaches by watchdog Ofgem.

Good Energy, which claims to help tackle climate change, topped the list of providers that failed to comply with regulator's standards last year.

Companies are measured on how well they stick to to schemes such as the Renewables Obligation, which requires firms to spend a certain amount on clean power as part of a push to make Britain a carbon-neutral country by 2050.

If companies fail to hit their target, they must make up the shortfall by paying into a fund run by Ofgem.

Ofgem said that it pushes up the cost of running clean energy programmes when companies fail to stick to the rules - ultimately leading to higher bills for consumers.

Chippenham-based Good Energy scored a total of 48 in the watchdog's test, with points awarded for each social and environmental breach depending on its severity.

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Responding to the report, the company slammed Ofgem's ranking system as "massively misleading".

A spokesperson for the company said: "We are disappointed that Good Energy, which has always been an advocate for greater transparency in the energy market, has been scored this way."

In a statement, Good Energy said that the system used by the watchdog incentivized bad behaviour from suppliers.

Suppliers that report their own errors are penalised, the company argued, whilst those that cover up mistakes are rewarded.

"It also has no proportionality," the spokesperson added. "Good Energy has the second largest Feed-in Tariff customer base. But 15 errors among 15 customers is scored the same way as 15 in 150,000."

They added that the firm would contact Ofgem "to see why they continue to pursue what we believe is a massively misleading approach" to scoring.

E.on Energy was listed as the second-worst offender by the watchdog, although of the major suppliers Npower had the highest number of severe infractions.

In 2015, Npower was fined a record £26m by Ofgem because it botched the introduction of a new computer system and left customers with late and inaccurate bills. 

E.on took over Npower last year.