Households served by Ampoweruk (600 customers), Bluegreen Energy (5,900 customers), Omni Energy (6,000 customers) and Zebra Power (14,800 customers) will be transferred to a new supplier not yet announced. In the meantime, your supplies will continue as normal and the Energy Regulatory Agency Ofgem says all balances are protected. Ofgem will now begin selecting a new supplier to take over the company’s customers.
Once appointed, you will be contacted regarding the transfer of your account and told what happens next. Once your account is transferred you can switch freely, but with prices at record highs due to unprecedented wholesale costs (the price utilities pay for gas and electricity), even if you can switch, there is nothing reasonably cheaper in the market right now than Ofgem’s upper price limit.
The news follows the outage of PFP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, Utility Point, People’s Energy, Avro Energy, Green Supplier Limited, Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy, Enstroga, Pure Planet, Colorado Energy, Daglias and Goto Energy, all since early September . We have an analysis of the new business that customers of failed companies are being taken to in our bankrupt energy company? How your new deal compares history.
A total of around two million households have been affected by supply failures since September, and more are to follow in an extreme time for the energy market.
A new provider will be hired to take over your care – wait until they get in touch with you
If you are a customer of any of the above four companies that have ceased operations this week:
- You can’t save now anyway by switching now – but even if you could, you shouldn’t. Whenever possible, Ofgem says that you should wait to be contacted by the new supplier in the coming weeks, otherwise you could have problems with your switch. Also, even then, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has warned that when your business ends, you should “do nothing” and exceed the price cap with your energy supply as there is nothing cheaper.
- Take a meter reading. It is useful to have it ready when your new supplier contacts you. You should do this whether you are a credit meter or a prepay customer.
- Download your energy bills / screenshot credits. When a company goes bust, websites can go offline. So go to the company’s website or app ASAP and get the information now so you have a record of it.
- When a new supplier is appointed, you are promoted to a new deal – which will almost certainly cost more. Ofgem says it is likely that your current contract will end and you will be placed on a special “recognized” contract (a plan that you did not choose). These are usually close to the max price, so it’s likely your bills will go up, but as noted above, there’s currently nothing cheaper to switch to.
While this may be frustrating, remember, if you had never switched, you would have chosen this plan anyway, and at least so far you have got a far cheaper plan than available – so overall you won, not lost.
The energy loan is protected even if you have recently left the company – so you do not lose any money that is owed to you
Ampoweruk, Bluegreen, Omni or Zebra may owe you money when your account has accumulated funds. In this scenario, the supplier commissioned by Ofgem will pay you back all the monies owed to you – this also applies if you had already started the change before the company went down. The supplier commissioned by Ofgem should contact this to agree on a refund – even for those who have not switched to it – but this can take a while.
If you owe money, you probably have to pay it anyway. Payments are made either to the bust supplier, its manager, or to the new supplier. The new supplier will tell you how this works after the takeover.
If you are in the process of switching, your switch will still take place
If you have already started moving from one of the four companies, you will continue to be transferred to the new provider you have chosen. You shouldn’t have to do anything. Your direct debit with your current supplier should be automatically canceled, but check anyway and if not, cancel it manually after the switch is complete. All outstanding credits will be paid out to you by the supplier appointed by Ofgem – see above for more.
If you are about to switch to one of the four companies, the switch should go as planned, but you will then be automatically switched to the new supplier that Ofgem will appoint.
There’s no need to cancel your direct debit, but it’s okay if you’ve already done so
You don’t have to cancel your direct debit immediately. Ofgem says your new supplier will be in touch shortly to explain how they will charge your account, including any direct debit schemes.
Ofgem says you can cancel your direct debit before the new provider contacts you if you want. If you’ve already canceled it, there is no need to reactivate it and your new supplier will explain what to do as soon as they get in touch with you.
What does Ofgem say?
Neil Lawrence, Director of Retail at Ofgem, said, “I want to reassure affected customers that they don’t have to worry – under our safety net we will make sure your energy supplies are kept safe and you will get the money you owe will not lose. “