Energy supplier Iresa has gone under, affecting just under 100,000 households.
The announcement follows long-drawn concerns from the regulator about the supplier’s customer services processes.
In February, Ofgem launched an investigation into whether Iresa was treating customers fairly, while it was then banned from taking on new customers in March.
Iresa isn’t the first energy supplier to fall into administration, earlier this year Future Energy went under with Green Star Energy taking on former customers. However, comparison website uSwitch says Iresa is only the third household energy supplier to go out of business in a decade.
Here’s what affected customers need to know about the supplier going bust.
I’m an Iresa customer, will my supply stop?
No. Ofgem says customers’ energy supply will continue as normal while it chooses a new supplier to take on Iresa customers. This supplier will contact customers individually once appointed.
I’m an Iresa customers, should I switch supplier?
No. Ofgem warns customers not to switch supplier yet. It instead advises users to take a meter reading today, and to then “sit tight” and wait for the new supplier to get in touch.
You will, of course, be able to switch away from the new supplier once it’s been appointed. Ofgem confirms that you won’t be charged exit fees for switching in this instance.
I’m an Iresa customer, will I lose any credit on my account?
No. Ofgem says any customers with credit on their energy account will have their balances protected under its “safety net”.
Once you’ve been switched to Ofgem’s appointed new supplier, it will pay you the outstanding money back. This is why it’s important not to switch until the new supplier has been appointed.
I was in debt to Iresa, will I still need to pay this off?
This depends on what the new supplier agrees with Iresa’s administrators.
You will need to pay back the debt to your new supplier if it arranges to take on customer debts. But you won’t need to pay back the debt to your new supplier if it doesn’t make this arrangement.
However, you may have to continue to pay it back to Iresa or its administrator.
‘No need to worry’
Rob Salter-Church, Ofgem’s interim executive director for consumers and markets, comments: “If you are an Iresa customer there is no need to worry as we will make sure your energy supplies are secure and your credit balance is protected.
“Ofgem is working to choose a new supplier as quickly as possible for you. While we’re doing this our advice is to ‘sit tight’ and don’t switch. Your energy supply will not be affected and will continue as normal – the thing that will change is that your energy will come from a new supplier.”
Visit Ofgem’s help page for more information about what happens when an energy supplier goes bust.