Octopus Energy to take on 100,000 Iresa customers

1 August 2018

Just under 100,000 customers of Iresa will be transferred to Octopus Energy, Ofgem has announced.

Iresa went bust last week following months of customer service problems, leaving the energy regulator scrambling to find a replacement supplier.

However, Octopus Energy has now been appointed due to its “good customer service record” – scoring 3.8 out of five in Citizens Advice’s supplier league table – and because of its “competitive” Flexible Octopus tariff – which is what households will be placed on.

Octopus Energy was established in 2016 and supplies around 250,000 households.

Rob Salter-Church, Ofgem’s interim executive director for consumers and competition comments: “Our advice for customers of Iresa is to wait until Octopus Energy contacts you. It will give you more information about the tariff you are on, and about your credit balance if you have one. Then you can shop around for a better deal if you wish to.”

Moneywise has rounded up what affected customers need to know below.  

When will I become an Octopus Energy customer?

Iresa customers will be contacted by Octopus Energy by 14 August, with the switch completing around a week later.

If you had a direct debit set up to pay Iresa, you should keep this running in the meantime. Direct debits will be transferred to Octopus Energy and Ofgem says the supplier will contact customers “shortly” to explain how these will set up.

Will Octopus Energy refund any credit on my Iresa account?

Yes. Octopus Energy will honour all outstanding credit balances, including money owed to both current customers and to past customers of Iresa. 

For current customers, any money will be credited to your Octopus account, which can be used to offset future energy use. Octopus Energy will contact past customers directly about their refund.

The cost of protecting these credit balances will be partly met by Octopus Energy, while the rest will be covered by Ofgem’s ‘safety net’. This is funded by a levy spread across all energy suppliers.

Will Octopus Energy recoup any debts I owed Iresa?

Current and former customers who owe money or are in debit to Iresa will not owe money to Octopus Energy.

They will, however, be contacted by Iresa’s administrators, which will talk to them about repayment arrangements.

Do I have to stay with Octopus Energy?

No. Once you’ve been switched to Octopus Energy, you can switch to a different Octopus Energy deal or move away from the supplier completely. Customers won’t be charged exit fees.

However, Ofgem warns that if you switch supplier before Octopus Energy has completed the transfer, the switch may not proceed or may take longer to complete.

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