Age UK rejects energy fixing claim

An older people's charity with a branch in South Tyneside has become involved in an energy price controversy.
Age UK South Tyneside in Beach Road.Age UK South Tyneside in Beach Road.
Age UK South Tyneside in Beach Road.

Dealings between Age UK and energy firm E.On are currently being examined by the Charity Commission and energy regulator Ofgem.

The regulators have launched a probe over claims Age UK has accepted £6million a year from E.On in return for recommending its tariffs onto the elderly when cheaper options were available.

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It is a claim which has been “strongly” rejected by the charity.

The allegation, in a national paper, claims the charity recommended a special rate which may have been much more expensive than the cheapest offers from the firm.

A spokesman for the charity nationally said: “We strongly reject the allegations and interpretation of figures.

The long-term commercial partnership includes a typical commission to Age UK of £10 for each customer.

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“Financial support beyond this is not linked to customer numbers.”

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “The Commission is aware of concerns raised in the media regarding Age UK’s partnership activities with E.ON.

“The Commission is in contact with both Age UK and Ofgem to determine what regulatory role the Commission might have and any action that might be necessary.”

The charity runs Age UK South Tyneside providing help and support for the borough’s older people through advice, social activities and befriending services.

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No one was available for comment from Age UK South Tyneside.