Local charities have received close to £1 million in donations from electricity and gas suppliers who may have been in breach of their licence, the regulator said.
Issues that have arisen include when people have tried to switch, but this does not work effectively, or when some of the marketing processes have not been in line with expectations.
The money is paid once firms put their hands up and say they will address the problem.
The Utility Regulator disclosed the details.
She added: “We allow them to come to an early resolution if they are particularly helpful and put their hands up and say that they will address the issue.
“We then agree for them to make a charitable donation. They are not to get publicity for that, because we have found a failing, they have admitted to it, and the donation is a redress.
“It is not something for which they should get positive publicity.”
The total in Northern Ireland, so far, is £920,000.
She told Stormont’s infrastructure committee: “That has come from electricity suppliers who may have not carried out all the activities that we expect in licensing and for the protection for consumers.
The regulator carried out an enforcement on one network company because it had allocated money “inappropriately”.
Ms Hedley added: “That was our first enforcement.
“We do not necessarily want to enforce licences.”
She added: “We want regulated companies to comply with our licences and to deliver value for consumers.
“Enforcement is a last stage, but it is something that we have in our toolbox, and we are not afraid to use it.”
The matter has been raised by Sinn Fein’s Liz Kimmins.
“Access to electricity is such a basic and fundamental necessity and it is vital that people can expect and receive the service they are entitled to from their suppliers.
“This demonstrates the important and valuable role of the Utility Regulator for customers.”
Recently Electric Ireland paid £50,000 to each of five local charities after issues were raised surrounding supply contracts with customers.
Among those charities was the Samaritans.
Wesley Wilson, who is the branch manager in Bangor, said the money was being distributed around the charity’s offices to pay for running costs such as telephone bills.