Npower to refund £1.2m to customers

Consumer Focus has welcomed the outcome of Ofgem's probe into gas tariff charges by Npower, but question why it took so long - more than two years.

Last week the regulator announced that the supplier has agreed to reimburse customers £1.2 million charged when it changed so-called two-tier tariffs, affecting around 200,000 of its gas customers.

The regulator said it was concerned over Npower's approach to notifying customers of the changes.  It resulted in a finacial loss to some households whose consumption was low.  However a large number of Npowers customer did benifit.

Each time Npower altered its charges, it started a new tariff year on which charges were based.  Now it has revised the wording of its contract information which clarifies the period over which higher tariffs are calculated.

The issue was orginally raised by an irate reader of The Guardian, then taken up by the former energy sector consumer watchdog, Energywatch.

Robert Hammond from its successor Consumer Focus, said: 'It is shameful that it has taken an investigation for Npower to accept that many of its customers were treated unfairly.  The investigation has taken far too long, but justice has been done and Npower will now return monies which it had no business taking in the first place.'