Citizens Advice responds to failure of Avro and Green energy suppliers
Citizens Advice in its role as the official watchdog for energy consumers has responded to Ofgem’s announcement about the failure of two suppliers.
Avro is the largest supplier to ever go bust and, combined with the failure of Green, almost one million customers will be affected - the greatest number in a single day to date. Around 1.5 million people have been affected by supplier failures in the past six weeks.
Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy for Citizens Advice, said:
“These latest failures will add to people’s worries at what’s already an extremely unsettling time. Supplier collapses and rocketing energy prices, combined with the looming cut to Universal Credit, are creating huge amounts of uncertainty for millions of people.
“There are protections for energy customers in place. They won’t lose their supply; their credit balances are protected; and the price cap limits the cost of bills.
“The Government and Ofgem must also guarantee no one will lose access to the Warm Home Discount when they are moved to a different supplier. And customers in debt to failed suppliers should continue to have access to affordable repayment plans.”
- Avro has more than 600,000 customers, with around 15,000 receiving the Warm Home Discount in 2020. Green has 350,000 customers.
- When energy suppliers fail, Ofgem’s Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process appoints a new supplier for customers to ensure a continued energy supply, while the old supplier is taken over by administrators.
- Administrators are not bound by the same rules as suppliers licensed by Ofgem. This means they can pursue debts much more aggressively and customers can see the amounts they are being chased for go up overnight.
- Citizens Advice has seen a surge in people viewing its energy advice pages. This weekend:
- Its page on checking who has taken over your energy supply has just seen a 9000% increase in views from the previous weekend.
- Its page on what to do if your energy supplier has gone bust saw a 1700% increase in views from the previous weekend.
- For further information on what’s going on in the energy market, visit our blog
What should I do if my supplier has failed?
- If you’re a customer of a failed supplier, Ofgem will move you onto a different one. This can take a few weeks, but your gas and electricity supply will continue in the meantime.
- Your new supplier will contact you and it’s good to be prepared beforehand. Take a note of meter readings, keep old energy bills and make a note of your account balance.
- Wait until your new supplier is appointed before cancelling any direct debits. This should all make the transition easier.
- You can find more information on the Citizens Advice website.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
- We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.