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Energy firm with 290,000 customers goes bust

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

A second small energy supplier has ceased trading in the space of a week.

The regulator Ofgem confirmed that supply for Spark Energy’s 290,000 domestic customers will continue as normal.

Mary Starks, Ofgem’s executive director for consumers and markets, said: “Our message to energy customers with Spark is there is no need to worry, as under our safety net we will make sure your energy supplies are secure and your credit balance is protected.”

The watchdog said it is in the process of choosing a new supplier and that customers are advised not to switch to another energy firm but should take a meter reading.

Last week, Ofgem launched an investigation into Spark Energy’s non-payment into the government’s Renewable Obligation schemes.

The demise of Spark follows news last week that Extra Energy, which had 108,000 domestic and 21,000 business customers, had ceased trading.

Ofgem has confirmed Scottish Power has taken on Extra Energy’s customers.

On Wednesday, Ofgem proposed tougher tests for new suppliers before they’re granted a licence.

Among the measures, which are due to come into force in spring 2019, applicants for new supply licences will have to prove to the regulator they have the funds and resources to manage their business for at least the first 12 months.

The energy watchdog was prompted to take action following the collapse of five other smaller suppliers this year.

Future Energy, National Gas and Power, Iresa Energy, Gen4U and Usio Energy, which had over 117,000 customers between them, have all gone bust in 2018.