Age UK and E.ON Partnership under Scrutiny

The Charity Commission has announced today that it is considering its role regarding Age UK’s partnership activities with E.ON in particular focusing on its regulatory role and any action that it may be necessary to take.

Age UK has partnered with E.ON to offer people 60 years old and over a tailor made gas and electricity package supplied by E.ON. The introduction of this offer is available on Age UK’s website, which provides relevant information about the offer including how to take advantage of the deal.

However, it has been reported in the media that the fixed two year tariff recommended by Age UK to its beneficiaries is not the cheapest available on the market. Also by recommending this particular deal it is reported that Age UK benefited £41 for every person signing up resulting in a total of £6million a year.

The parties have stated that there is no wrong doing here as the promotion is at a fixed price so customers benefit in the long term.

It is not clear what action, if any, the Charity Commission will take. The energy regulator Ofgem has also reported that it is looking into the partnership. The news reports also caught the attention of MPs in the Energy Select Committee with some making calls for the parties to recompense those affected.

Whilst charities may have the ability to engage in partnerships with businesses to offer different promotions, they do need to ensure that such activities fall within their objects, that they provide adequate information to their beneficiaries including whether they receive any benefits. Additionally, introducing their beneficiaries to businesses for certain promotions may mean that the charity is required to fulfil other regulatory standards such as having a consumer credit licence.

Forbes Solicitors has experience of advising charities in relation to a range of regulatory and contractual matters. If you have any questions relating to setting up a charity, entering into a partnership or introducing your beneficiaries to promotions, please contact Daniel Milnes.

Nat Avdiu

About Nat Avdiu

Nat Avdiu is a Paralegal in the Contracts and Projects team at Forbes Solicitors. Nat provides updates for clients on a range of issues including: governance, data protection and freedom of information, procurement and charity law.
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