(Bloomberg) -- One of Britain’s largest energy suppliers was slapped with a £1.5 million ($1.9 million) penalty after breaching a price cap on customer bills.

Regulator Ofgem said Scottish Power Ltd. overcharged 1,699 customers from 2015 to last year. That included the period when a Europe-wide energy crunch sent gas and electricity prices soaring, fueling a jump in profits for several major suppliers.

The watchdog said earlier this year that debt levels among retail customers were at a record as surging inflation across the economy made high energy bills an even bigger burden. The cost-of-living crisis is a major issue ahead of this year’s general election, with gas and power rates a key part of that narrative.

“The last few years have been challenging enough for energy customers facing increasing cost-of-living pressures, without the additional hardship of being overcharged,” Ofgem Deputy Director for Price Protection Dan Norton said. “The price cap is there to protect consumers.”

Scottish Power has distributed £500,000 in compensation to affected customers and will pay a £1 million fine. The company itself reported the matter last year, which helped secure a lower penalty.

(Updates with context in third paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.