Manchester-based Eversmart Energy has become the latest provider to go bust.
The energy company – the fifth firm to cease trading this year – was providing around 39,000 households and a “very small number” of business customers, through Ofgem.
The provider is additionally the 14th energy firm to exit the market since November 2016. Last year, Eversmart Energy was put on notice by the regulator for failing to pay into a fund once it didn't source enough renewable electricity under the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme.
Ofgem can now select a replacement provider to take on its customers and in the meantime, it's advising them not to switch until a replacement one has been appointed and they have been contacted in the returning weeks.
This will make sure the process of transferring customers and return any outstanding credit balances will be as smooth as possible.
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s director for future retail markets supposed that Eversmart Energy customers did not need to worry, as under their safety net they would ensure energy supplies were secure and domestic customers’ credit balances were protected.
He added that Ofgem would choose a new supplier for customers and whilst they were doing that their recommendation was to ‘sit tight’ and did not switch. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. They would update you after they had chosen a replacement supplier who would then get in touch about your new tariff.
The Energy investigator declared it had seen a “significant increase” in complaints regarding Eversmart Energy, receiving four times as several complaints so far – 225 – this year compared to last year, at 55.
Chief executive Matthew Vickers added: “Billing and switching problems have been the main drivers of unresolved complaints regarding the company."
“If you have complained to us about Eversmart and are awaiting a case investigation, decision or remedy we are going to contact you with an update soon. It’s unlikely that we would be able to take any further action on your complaint. Additionally, as of today, we cannot investigate any new complaints about Eversmart. We appreciate that this can be unsatisfying and frustrating for affected customers."
“As a not-for-profit ombudsman, we are funded by the case fees that energy companies pay to own complaints reviewed. In common with many other failed suppliers, Eversmart has ceased trading owing us a big amount of money in unpaid case fees, increasing our exposure to bad debt.”
The news follows the launch of harder rules for new entrant energy suppliers introduced by the regulator earlier this year.