Troubled supplier UK Energy Incubator Hub (UKEIH) could be forced to remove a senior individual from a key management role – after the energy watchdog determined that they are not fit and proper to occupy such a position.
The proposed final order follows three provisional orders against the firm this year, with Ofgem utilising its new powers to ensure bosses are ‘fit and proper’ for the job of running an energy firm.
The regulators concerns centre around a number of serious and persistent compliance failings.
This includes failures to provide basic information about the company when asked by Ofgem, and poor customer service.
UKEIH is a domestic energy supplier, serving around 3,000 customers.
It operates under two brands: Northumbria Energy and Neo Energy.
There will now be a consultation period of 21 days, after which time an enforcement decision panel will decide whether to finalise the final order.
As part of its compliance process, Ofgem also earlier this week issued a provisional order to supplier Foxglove Energy Supply for its apparent failure to meet the financial responsibility requirements.
This means Foxglove must now take swift action to improve its financial position.
Until it does so, Foxglove has to refrain from taking on new customers and cannot take any money from the business unless it is essential to its operation.
Cathryn Scott, Ofgem’s Director of Enforcement and Emerging Issues, said: “Ofgem’s role is to protect consumers and we are raising the bar and taking firm action against suppliers to ensure they are fit and proper and have robust and sound financials. This is our role as a robust regulator and is what customers expect and deserve. Our tightened-up rules will help protect bill-payers during these very difficult times.”
Ofgem has confirmed it will set out its initial findings over the coming days from its ‘market compliance review’ into how energy companies handle customer direct debits.