N-Power finally fallen foul of law

The energy company N-Power had finally been brought to book for mis-selling contracts.

by Michael Smith

This is not surprising this writer at all as I have personally encountered that company's sales people who have especially this knack, for lack of a better word, of misrepresenting N-Power as a very green company and a wholly British owned one, which it is not, not even by a long shot.

The company is wholly owned by RWE – Rheinisch-Westfaehlishe Energie – a German energy giant and one that has both dirty coal and nuclear power in its generating portfolio. So much for green, alternative energy, and all that.

Mis-selling is how that company works and always has worked and it is not a few rogue salesmen and -women, as they claim. It would appear to be the way those agents are supposed to work; or at least so it would appear to those that have been on the receiving end of those agents' modus operandi.

While RWE's portfolio does not, necessarily, worry me even though I, like I am sure many of the readers, would rather be able to buy entirely green energy from a supplier that just does alternative energy and at a good price, it is the way its British arm works and twists people's arms top go with them, and here especially the false claims of being a wholly owned British company unlike EDF, for instance, as was mentioned to me.

“Oh”, said the agent, “you know who EDF are and what its letters stand for.” To which I told him “yes” and quoted the company's full title, namely “Energie de FrancĂ©” and it was then that this individual claimed to me that N-Power be a wholly owned British company and he did not like me commenting that they were not.

I also encountered another of their agents on yet another trade fair that I had reason to attend under a press pass and that person also tried to tell me that N-Power be a wholly British owned outfit. This one, however, was very taken aback when I told him that the company is owned lock, stock and barrel by RWE, a German energy giant. He, apparently, did not know this.

This leads me to believe that it is company policy to have their agents deceive the unsuspecting public and the fine is rightly deserved and – in my opinion – far too low.

Ever since the deregulation of the British energy sector and the privatization of it we seem to have been going down a slippery slope and this is also true with other sectors of the once state-owned businesses, whether in the field of telecommunication, postal service or whatever. But, I digress here.

One can but wonder how many more you know whats are going to be in this particular woodpile and how many more energy companies in this country – and elsewhere – use similar mis-selling tactics, especially claiming the green label. Let the buyer beware and research before he commits him- or herself to anything.

© M Smith (Veshengro), December 2008