The households served by Igloo Energy (179,000 customers), Symbio (48,000 customers) and Enstroga (6,000 customers) will be transferred to an as yet undisclosed new supplier. 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 new suppliers to accommodate the company’s customers. Once these new suppliers have been appointed, you will be contacted regarding the transfer of your account and told what happens next. Once your account has been transferred you are free to switch, although switching is unlikely to save you any savings due to rising wholesale costs (the price utilities pay for gas and electricity). You can then use our free Cheap Energy Club to check it.
The news follows the outages of PFP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, Utility Point, People’s Energy, Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited (not to be confused with the separate provider Green Energy UK), all of which have ceased trading since early September. In total, a little more than 1.7 million households were affected by delivery failures this month, with more to follow in an unprecedented time for the energy market.
Find emergency help from MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis in our latest weekly email.
DO NOT switch now – sit stuck and wait for the new supplier to contact you
If you are a customer of one of these companies:
- Do not switch to another provider until a new one has been appointed. Ofgem says you should wait to be contacted by the new supplier in the coming weeks, otherwise you could have problems with your switch.
- 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 ASAP and get the information now so you have a record of it.
- When a new supplier is appointed, you will likely switch to a new deal – which may cost more. Ofgem says it is likely that your current contract will end and you will be transferred to a special “recognized” contract (a plan that you did not choose). These are usually at the price cap, so your bills are likely to go up. However, there are currently no cheaper offers for new customers, so you will probably not save money by switching.
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
Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga can owe you money if 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 go either to Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga, the administrator 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 switching from Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga, you will continue to move 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 currently switching to Iglu, Symbio or Enstroga, the change should go as planned, but you will then be automatically switched to the new provider from Ofgem.
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, “Ofgem’s number one priority is protecting customers. We know this is a worrying time for many people and the news that a supplier is going out of business can be worrying.
“I would like to assure the customers of Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy that they don’t have to worry. Under our safety net, we take care of your energy supply. If you have credit in your Enstroga, Igloo Energy or Symbio Energy account, it is yours deposited funds are protected and you do not lose the money that is owed to you.
“Ofgem will select a new supplier for you and during this time we advise you to wait until we appoint a new supplier and not to change in the meantime. As usual, you can rely on your energy supply. We will bring you up to date when we have selected a new provider who will then contact you about your tariff.
“Any customer who is concerned about paying their energy bill should contact their supplier for access to the available support services.”