Citizens Advice responds to collapse of Eversmart
Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer watchdog for energy, has responded to news that Eversmart has ceased trading.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Eversmart is the 13th domestic energy company to collapse in the last two years. Our research shows this unlucky baker’s dozen of failed companies has left behind at least £172 million in unpaid costs. These will be picked up by other consumers through higher bills.
“We’re also concerned that some customers may have high credit balances.
“Eversmart had a tariff which encouraged people to pay for a year’s energy upfront. We raised our concerns with Ofgem, and it’s since been withdrawn.
“When a supplier goes bust, customer credit balances are protected. But all of us will eventually pay for honouring them through increased bills.
“These regulations provide vital protection for those affected. However, it was never expected that firms would actively encourage very large credit balances.
“Ofgem needs to act to reduce the cost of supplier failures and protect customers.”
Customers can be reassured that there should be no disruption to their electricity and gas supply. Their credit balances are also protected.
Ofgem will appoint a new supplier who will contact them in the next couple of weeks.
Eversmart customers should take meter readings and avoid switching right now, as it may cause a delay in receiving any refunds they might be entitled to.
Prepayment meter customers should make a note of their credit balance and ideally take a photo of their meter.
Prepayment meter customers should only top up what they need.
Customers can find more information on the Ofgem or Citizens Advice websites.
Customers unsure of their next steps can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. This service operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
The Citizens Advice report Picking up the Pieces, on the costs of the failure of energy supply firms, can be found here.
It calls for enhanced protection for consumers and new rules to ensure more regular payment of industry costs by energy supply firms.
Citizens Advice publishes a league table of energy supply firms every three months. It’s based on a range of customer service measures and can be found here.
Notes to editors
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