Four more UK energy suppliers go bust
Four energy suppliers have become the latest companies to go bust amid the soaring cost of wholesale gas prices.
Omni Energy Limited, MA Energy Limited, Zebra Power Limited, and Ampoweruk Ltd have ceased trading, the regulator Ofgem said.
Together, the companies supplied about 23,700 customers.
They are the latest energy companies to go under as increased gas prices have made price promises to customers undeliverable.
A total of 19 energy suppliers, mostly smaller firms, are thought to have gone bust since August, affecting about two million customers.
Out of the four companies to go under on Tuesday, Zebra Power Limited has the largest customer base, with 14,800.
Omni Energy supplies about 6,000 domestic pre-payment customers, while Ampoweruk Ltd has about 600 domestic customers and about 2,000 non-domestic. MA Energy has about 300 non-domestic customers.
Ofgem said customers of the four firms would continue to receive energy supplies and any credit to their accounts would be protected.
Affected customers will be switched to a new tariff by Ofgem and be contacted by their new supplier, the regulator said.
‘Unprecedented’ price rise
Ofgem added domestic customers would also be protected by the energy price cap when being switched to a new supplier.
The regulator’s price cap, which covers 15 million households across England, Wales and Scotland, protects customers on default tariffs by limiting charges including how much customers pay per unit of energy.
Ofgem has said an “unprecedented increase” in global gas prices was putting financial pressure on energy suppliers.
High demand for gas and reduced supply has been behind the recent surge in wholesale prices, although other factors such as a colder winter in Europe last year.
Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said the regulator’s “number one priority” was to protect customers.
“I want to reassure affected customers that they do not need to worry: under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you have credit on your account the funds you have paid in are protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.”
Ofgem has advised affected customers to wait and not switch supplier until it appoints a new one.
“We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your tariff,” Mr Lawrence added.
What happens if your energy supplier goes bust?
Customers will still continue to receive gas or electricity even if the energy supplier goes bust. Ofgem will move your account to a new supplier, but it may take a few weeks. Your new supplier should then contact you to explain what is happening with your account
While you wait to hear from your new supplier: check your current balance and – if possible – download any bills; take a photo of your meter reading
If you pay by direct debit, there is no need to cancel it straight away, Citizens Advice says. Wait until your new account is set up before you cancel it
If you are in credit, your money is protected and you’ll be paid back. If you were in debt to the old supplier, you’ll still have to pay the money back to your new supplier instead