Npower Slammed By Ofgem Over Billing Claims
The energy watchdog and the Government have accused gas and electricity supplier npower of "misleading" consumers over the cost structure of household bills.
Npower released a 14-page document which sought to "create a better understanding of the facts behind the energy industry".
The 'Big Six' company's report, Energy Explained: Inside The Cost Of Energy, showed how customers could minimise their bills by improving home insulation efficiency.
It argued that bills in the UK are high because the country's "old and draughty" houses waste so much gas and electricity.
The company illustrated what impact insulation would have on bill reduction, although it said network costs - those beyond its control - would rise until 2020 by a projected 74%.
But in a strongly worded response, regulator Ofgem said: "We welcome npower's effort to inform the energy debate, however their data on network costs is incorrect and misleading.
"We offered to help npower improve the accuracy of their numbers for network charges and it is disappointing that they did not engage fully with us until after the document had been circulated."
Npower also stated that green taxes on energy bills would more than double by the end of the decade.
However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) rejected the claim.
The department said "Npower's analysis is incorrect on so many levels" and insists that lower social and environmental programmes will in fact lower energy bills by as much as £166 in 2020.
The DECC added: "A number of the policies listed by npower don't have any impact on household energy bills, including the Renewable Heat Incentive, Climate Change Levy and the Carbon Reduction Commitment."
Last week, npower apologised to customers over a rising tide of complaints to regulators and charities.
Information compiled by the watchdog Consumer Futures found that the company continued to receive the highest number of complaints between July and September - around eight times more than the best-performing firm.
Its data suggested npower collected nearly half of all gripes against energy firms to third parties in the period, numbering 253 per 100,000 customers - a rise of 25% on the previous three months.
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