Electricity tariffs 'encouraging profligacy'

The Association for the Conservation of Energy has written to Sir John Mogg, chairman of energy regulator Ofgem, asking him to stop suppliers rewarding their customers for using more energy.

ACE first raised the issue in 1999, when it criticised Scottish and Southern Electricity for offering an air mile for each £6 of electricity used (ENDS Report 289, p 31 ). ACE pointed out that this would discourage consumers from reducing their energy use, as well as promoting greater use of a highly polluting form of transport.

Five years later, Scottish and Southern is now offering an incentive of one air mile for every £2 spent on either gas or electricity. ACE says the company is "directly encouraging profligacy".

ACE also criticises Powergen for offering a Tesco club card point for every £1 spent on gas or electricity. However, it has no objection to EdF's policy of rewarding customers with Nectar points - redeemable at stores including Sainsbury's and Debenham's - because these are allocated according to how long customers stay with the company, rather than how much energy they use.