In the last year, numerous smaller energy suppliers in the UK have collapsed: the latest being Economy Energy, who have recently been banned from accepting new customers. The rising cost of wholesale prices has been blamed, with some critics arguing that the recently introduced energy price cap could make the issue worse. Other suppliers that have stopped trading in the last twelve months include Future Energy, One Select, Spark Energy, and Iresa Energy.
Not only does this force more and more customers to switch to one of the “big six” energy suppliers, it also causes problems for those who could have their supply disrupted. For instance, Economy Energy currently has 235,000 domestic customers. And although their supply will continue, they will need to be switched to a different supplier.
In recent months, the company’s customers have reported customer service and billing disputes, including problems with refunds, billing delays, and inaccurate balances being displayed on statements. The Energy Ombudsman is currently investigating over 1,000 complaints from consumers relating to this particular company alone.
On its website, the firm says: “Economy Energy has ceased to trade. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is appointing a new supplier for its customers.” Ofgem has advised its customers to wait until they are allocated an alternative supplier. In the meantime, customers should take a meter reading. Those who pay by direct debit will have any credit protected when they switch; prepayment meters can continue to be topped up as normal.
In its correspondence, Ofgem advised Economy Energy customers: “Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you, ensure you get the best deal possible. While we are doing this our advice is to sit tight and don’t switch. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff. We have seen a number of supplier failures over the last year and our safety net procedures are working as they should to protect customers.”