* npower must resolve billing problems by end of August
* Failure to meet monthly targets will see end to telesales
LONDON, June 19 British energy supplier npower
must resolve problems with late bills or halt telesales
activity, UK energy watchdog Ofgem said on Thursday.
Ofgem started an investigation into npower's late billing of
customers after 1.4 million complaints were received last year.
The company, which is the UK arm of German utility RWE
, said at the time that the customer service problems
had been caused by the introduction of a new computer system.
Although npower has made progress by clearing many of the
oldest cases, its recovery plan has not been delivered as widely
and as fast as necessary, Ofgem said.
"Ofgem is requiring npower to resolve major billing issues
no later than the end of August 2014 and publish monthly
progress updates on its website," the regulator said in a
"Failure to meet monthly targets will result in npower
ceasing all proactive telesales to new customers until they are
met," it added.
Npower said this week that it had assigned an extra 650
people since December to help resolve customer service problems
and would invest an additional 20 million pounds ($34
million)this year to fully resolve those issues.
($1 = 0.5904 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)