Together Energy, which has 176,000 households on its books, has become the latest supplier to collapse in the wake of the soaring cost of gas.
The firm – part owned by a north of England council – recently deferred making a £12.4m payment to the industry regulator Ofgem, tipping off the sector that the company was in trouble.
Now Together, along with its subsidiary Bristol Energy, have ceased to trade.
Under Ofgem’s safety net, landlords’ and tenants’ energy supply will continue and funds that domestic customers have paid into their accounts will be protected, where they are in credit.
Domestic customers will also be protected by the energy price cap when being switched to a new supplier.
Customers of Together Energy Retail will be contacted by their new supplier, which will be chosen by Ofgem.
Ofgem’s advice to affected customers in the meantime is to:
– Wait until a new supplier has been appointed and you have been contacted by them in the following weeks before looking to switch to another energy supplier;
– Take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you;
– This will make the process of transferring customers over to the chosen supplier and honouring any funds that domestic customers have paid into their accounts, where they are in credit, as smooth as possible;
In recent weeks there has been an unprecedented increase in global gas prices which is putting financial pressure on suppliers.
Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, says: “Ofgem’s number one priority is to protect customers. We know this is a worrying time for many people and news of a supplier going out of business can be unsettling.
“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. 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 tariff.
“Any customer concerned about paying their energy bill should contact their supplier to access the range of support that is available.”
No fewer than 27 suppliers have collapsed since August last year when an unprecedented increase in wholesale gas costs took hold.
Firms have been unable to fully pass these on to consumers because the majority of households are now protected by the government’s price cap: this rose 12 per cent in October but is scheduled to rise again this spring, with a decision on the size of the increase expected to be announced next month.