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British Gas fined £11.1m for delay

British Gas is to pay £11.1 million to charity after it was punished by Ofgem over its failure to deliver energy efficiency measures on time.

The regulator said British Gas delivered 62.4% of its Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) by the required deadline at the end of 2012, meaning t housands of households had to wait for energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, to be installed during the winter.

Ofgem and British Gas, which blamed bad weather as one of the factors behind the delay, said the £11.1 million penalty will be used to help vulnerable customers through energy efficiency advice and improvements.

Ofgem said British Gas management failed to take appropriate action to ensure the energy efficiency target was met, particularly after problems arose in 2012.

The regulator said around 6,750 households in low income areas experienced delays in receiving energy saving measures.

After the deadline, British Gas said it delivered more measures than required, benefiting vulnerable customers with an additional £110 million savings on energy bills. I n the last five years it has insulated more than 2.5 million homes.

Claire Miles, managing director of British Gas New Energy, said: " We're hugely committed to the success of our energy efficiency programmes and are sorry that we missed the December 2012 deadline.

"However, we're pleased that in the end we managed to help more vulnerable people under this scheme than was required. The donation we're making will further help those struggling to keep their homes warm."

In May last year, Ofgem launched investigations into six energy supply and generation companies which failed to deliver obligations under CESP.

Last week, the regulator issued power station firm Drax with a record penalty of £28 million, while InterGen was ordered to pay £11 million.

Ofgem's £11.1 million penalty to British Gas also covers the company's failure to deliver its obligation under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, which requires firm to achieve targets for reducing carbon emissions within domestic properties. British Gas met 99% of its obligation.

Ofgem partner Sarah Harrison said: "British Gas's failure to deliver two environmental obligations on time is unacceptable. Thousands of households had to wait for energy efficiency measures like insulation to be installed during the winter.

"The payment reflects British Gas's failure to meet its obligations on time but also recognises its commitment to put things right."

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