Which energy companies are collapsing in August 2019?

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It seems like every few months now another small energy supplier who you might not even have heard is in the headlines. There are many complaints from both energy suppliers and their customers about how the industry is regulated. The problems affecting the sector may be getting worse, as 3 suppliers have collapsed in the last month, confusing their customers.

Cardiff Energy Supply Shuts Down

Although it only had 815 gas customers left at the time of its closure, Cardiff Energy Supply Limited shutting down will still have been a hassle for them. Ofgem appointed SSE to take on Cardiff Energy Supply’s customers instead. SSE has already taken on thousands of customers from several other small energy suppliers after they folded. Cardiff Energy Supply customers should have heard from SSE about setting up their new accounts by now. They should keep credit balances and also provide a new top-up card if customers have a pre-payment meter.

Solarplicity Sinks

After Ofgem banning them from accepting new customers earlier this year, Solarplicity has now gone bust. The company had high levels of complaints about poor customer service and failed to pass on renewable energy subsidies to the regulator despite collecting them from customers. Solarplicity already sold 43,000 of its customers to Toto Energy last month, which left them with 8,000 customers. These customers will now have to transfer to EDF Energy as their replacement energy supplier. Solarplicity still owed customers a total of £3.5 million in credit balances, which should still be paid and reclaimed. All switches should be handled by either Toto or EDF. Solarplicity now intends to continue with its solar panel business instead.

URE Energy Goes Under

URE was another electricity supplier which failed to pay subsidies to Ofgem by the deadline last year. Ofgem has now revoked the company’s licence to supply electricity, so they would have to stop trading. With these debts to pay and no licence to continue supplying electricity, URE will have no business. At this point, URE Energy did not have any customers, so at least there is no transferring hassle for customers in this case. Ofgem has not had to appoint yet another energy supplier to take over customer accounts from another failed company. This helps to reduce the administrative and financial strain on the domestic energy supply sector.

Will even more energy suppliers go bust?

In the last year, since September 2018, the following 13 energy suppliers have gone bust:

The final 3 in the list all ceased trading in the last month alone. Things are not looking good for small competitors in the UK consumer energy industry. Energy suppliers now have until 31st August to pay subsidies from renewable energy to Ofgem. Alternatively, they can pay late by 31st October and pay additional interest. Failure to pay these subsidies on time has resulted in energy suppliers going bust before, so it isn’t unlikely that further companies are going to fold in the next 6 months. Signs that a supplier may be exiting the market include:

  • Extremely poor customer service levels
  • Increase in unresolved complaints
  • Not appearing on comparison sites anymore

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