Two more energy suppliers cease trading
Ofgem has confirmed two more energy companies are to exit the market impacting more than half a million customers
People’s Energy, a social enterprise formed in 2017, supplied 350,000 consumers and 1,000 non-domestic customers, while Utility Point had 220,000 billpayers.
Under Ofgem’s safety net, the energy supply of Utility Point and People’s Energy customers will continue and outstanding credit balances of domestic customers will be protected.
Neil Lawrence, Director of Retail at Ofgem, said “Although the news that a supplier going out of business can be unsettling, Utility Point and People’s Energy customers do not need to worry. Under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you are a domestic customer with credit on your Utility Point or People’s Energy account this is protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.”
“Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime. 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.”
Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy for Citizens Advice, said “The failure of Utility Point and People’s Energy leaves more than half a million customers facing uncertainty. With the energy price hike and cut to Universal Credit due in the next fortnight, this comes at a hugely unsettling time for many.”
“With more customers affected at one time than ever before, Ofgem must provide support and protection – especially for those worried about their finances.”
“If you’re a customer of a failed supplier, Ofgem will move you onto a different one. This can take a few weeks, but your gas and electricity supply will continue in the meantime. Your new supplier will contact you and it’s good to be prepared beforehand. Take a note of meter readings, keep old energy bills and make a note of your account balance. Wait until your new supplier is appointed before cancelling any direct debits. This should all make the transition easier.”
Lisa Barber, Which? Home Products and Services Editor, said “Energy customers with People’s Energy and Utility Point will be deeply concerned by the news their energy supplier has ceased trading. However, customers should not panic – and while they wait for Ofgem to appoint a new provider we’d recommend taking a meter reading.”
“Once the transition is complete, customers are under no obligation to stay with the appointed provider and should consider shopping around for a better deal, especially if they are on a default or standard variable tariff as their bills could rise significantly from next month due to the increase in the energy price cap. Any credit balances customers have with the previous energy supplier will also be protected. ”
The companies become the third and fourth energy suppliers to exit the energy sector in the past week.