Ofgem today announced it has struck deals with two big energy retailers willing to take over the customers of collapsed suppliers Avro and Green Supplier.
Octopus Energy has accepted Avro’s 580,000 clients and Shell Energy will absorb Green Supplier’s 255,000 overwhelmingly domestic accounts, the regulator said. The former is Britain’s biggest failure ever in energy retailing.
Both appointments have followed a commercial competition run by Ofgem among potential suppliers.
Failures to hedge ahead adequately the costs of supply against wholesale gas prices surging as much as 250% this year, and 70% since the summer, are predicted to cause future bankruptcies.
As they ‘grand-father’ newly assumed accounts, both successor suppliers will honour the credit balances of current and former domestic customers of their failed predecessors.
Neil Lawrence, Ofgem’s director of retail, said: “I am pleased to announce we have appointed Shell Energy and Octopus [respectively] for the customers of Green Supplier and Avro. We understand that this news may be unsettling for customers, however they do not need to worry. Their energy supply will continue as normal, and customer credit balances will be honoured.
Current and former customers who owe money, or are in debit to either forerunner, are advised to wait to hear either from their new supplier or from the forerunner’s administrators.
Twice each year Ofgem sets the level of the price cap, which protects customers on default as well as deemed tariffs, and based on the latest estimated costs of supplying energy. Some observers have seen this as a recipe for further steep rises next spring.
A total of seven suppliers have quit energy retailing this year. British Gas has been prominent in taking over bankrupts’ account lists.