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Our Power latest energy supplier to collapse

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Written by: Danielle Levy
25/01/2019
Not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power is the second provider to cease trading this year.

The collapse of the Edinburgh-based provider, which is understood to have 38,000 customers, comes at a challenging time for smaller energy suppliers.

In a statement, Our Power said the energy regulator, Ofgem, is in the process of appointing a new supplier for customers.

“Customers should not worry, their supplies are secure and credit balances are protected through the transfer to a new supplier. Pre-payment customers should continue to top up and payments will be allocated to their meters as usual,” the company said.

It also highlighted Ofgem’s advice, which is to avoid switching and instead wait until a new supplier has been appointed.

“This will help make sure that the process of handing customers over to a new supplier, and honouring credit balances, is as hassle-free for customers as possible,” the company added.

Small suppliers under pressure

Our Power is the second small supplier to cease trading this year, following the collapse of Economy Energy earlier this month, affecting 235,000 customers who will be transferred to Ovo Energy.

Last year, nine suppliers ceased trading. They included Spark Energy and Extra Energy.

“Conditions are tough in the energy market at the moment, particularly for smaller players who may not have longer term backing,” said Rik Smith, a commercial manager at comparison site uSwitch.

“Thanks to Ofgem’s safety net, however, Our Power customers will be protected. The advice is to take a meter reading, wait until you’re informed who your new energy supplier is and what tariff they’re offering you. At that point you should shop around to see if there is another deal you prefer,” he added.

Meanwhile, Peter Earl, head of energy at comparison site comparethemarket, commented: “This is the sixth collapse of an energy provider in under four months, showing just how poorly smaller companies are coping with a rise in wholesale prices.

“Our calculations suggest that over 700,000 customers have been affected by these failures. However it is reassuring to see Ofgem has clear processes in place to protect customers of failed energy suppliers, including Our Power, the latest to go under.”

While the raft of announcements of recent energy company collapses is concerning, Earl was keen to point out that the majority of companies should have the financial stability to weather the storm.

I’m an Our Power customer: what should I do?

Existing customers can find support and advice on the Ofgem website.

Alternatively, support is available via Citizens Advice.

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