An energy company based in the West Midlands has been banned from taking on any new customers. Citizens Advice and the Energy Ombudsman contacted the energy regulator Ofgem after receiving numerous complaints from the company’s 240,000 customers, and an investigation began into the company.
Ofgem launched their investigation and have described the company as ‘not fit for purpose’ they had a catalogue of complaints from customers, some of whom had inaccurate bills and were overcharged. When those customers tried to contact customer services department for the company, they couldn’t get through. If they did manage to get through, it was taking an unacceptable amount of time for them to receive refunds. Ofgem describe that as unreasonable, and have decided to impose a ban on the company from taking on any new customers.
However, as of today the company has ceased trading. Economy Energy have released the following statement on their website: Economy Energy has ceased to trade. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is appointing a new supplier for its customers. Customers need not worry, their supplies are secure and credit balances are protected. Ofgem’s advice is not to switch, but to sit tight and wait until the new supplier has been appointed. This will help make sure that the process of handing customers over to a new supplier, and honouring credit balances, is as hassle free for customers as possible. Customers can find support and advice on the Ofgem website. Or alternatively if they need additional support they can call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or email them via webform, or get in touch through Ofgem’s facebook or twitter feed @ofgem
The firm is the ninth UK supplier within a year to cease trading, taking the total number of customers left without a supplier to 800,000. Energy regulator Ofgem has said it will choose a new supplier to take on Economy Energy’s customers as quickly as possible, but its advice is that if you’re a customer, don’t switch yet. If you have an outstanding credit balance with Economy Energy, Ofgem says this will be protected, and you’ll get your money back.
I’m an Economy Energy customer – what should I do?
If you’re an Economy Energy customer, Ofgem’s advice is:
Do not switch to another supplier at this stage.
- Take a meter reading, ready for when your new supplier contacts you.
Ofgem says this will make the process of transferring customers over to a new supplier, and paying back any outstanding credit balances, as smooth as possible.
I’m on prepay – can I still top up?
According to Ofgem, if you’ve a standard prepayment meter, you’ll be able to top up as normal for now, then once it announces a new supplier, you’ll get a new top-up device. If you’ve a smart prepayment meter, Ofgem says you’ll be able to top up “for a short while”. However, your meter will soon be switched to ‘credit mode’ to allow your supply to continue without the need to top up. When the new supplier is appointed, it will discuss with you whether you want to go back to a prepayment tariff.
Ofgem’s director for future retail markets Philippa Pickford said: “Our message to energy customers with Economy Energy is there is no need to worry, as under our safety net we will make sure your energy supplies are secure and your credit balance is protected. Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you, ensuring you get the best deal possible. Whilst we’re 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.”