We’re Still Standing

NICCOLO ARE A RELIABLE CHOICE; WHO STOPPED WHEN WE KEPT GOING?

Niccolo Gas was formed on the 26th of February 2018; lots of suppliers have closed down since then. Not us, though.

The pressure of lockdown has only added to the pre-existing unpredictability of starting up a business, and not everyone has managed to make it through. The UK retail energy market has been carnage, recently.

In January alone 410,000 households have been moved to a new supplier after theirs went under.

That is already 90% more than the total amount of households affected in 2020.

Suppliers going under is inconvenient for customers as they are switched to a new supplier, and the unpaid, outstanding costs of the failed supplier are passed onto all energy customers to compensate for network losses.

There are still many well operated, highly rated and viable energy suppliers in the market – Niccolo being one – but this article details those who haven’t been so lucky.

A ROUND UP OF 2019

  • 700,000 energy customers were forced to change their contracts,
  • 14 domestic energy suppliers stopped trading,

Failure to prepare for, and then pay, the new Renewable Obligation (RO) payments resulted in many of these companies into failure. Additionally, all these companies had the same, the following characteristics:

  • lack of profitability,
  • poor management,
  • insufficient funding.

A ninth company, URE Energy, had its supply license revoked by Ofgem for failure to make RO payments, too. This did not go through the formal transfer of customers process referred to as Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR). As a result it is unclear the impact this failure had on customers.

Many energy suppliers ‘sold out’ in 2019.

Somewhere in the region of 10 million customer accounts were taken over by new ownership as a result of corporate transactions (companies buying out others)

4 main domestic energy suppliers exited the market through trade sales:

Coop Energy bought by Octopus

Green Star Energy bought by Shell

npower acquired by E.ON

SSE Domestic acquired by OVO

The final two points are particularly notable as they have rearranged the dynamics of the so-called ‘Big 6’, now the Big 5:

  1. British Gas
  2. E.ON (acquired npower)
  3. OVO (acquired SSE)
  4. Scottish Power
  5. EDF

Some suppliers barely made it through 2019.

Robin Hood Energy was proposed a final order from Ofgem, also for not paying their RO costs.

The company was bailed out by its owner, Nottingham City Council.

The amount owed to Ofgem was £9.4 million, the amount they loaned was £9.5 million and so they were able to make the payment and stay afloat.

In 2020 the company sold its customer base to British Gas. As well as this 11 of Robin Hood Energy’s ‘white label’ suppliers will also cease trading and see their customers moved to British Gas:

  1. Angelic Energy
  2. Beam Energy
  3. Citizen Energy
  4. Ebico
  5. Fosse Energy
  6. Great North Energy
  7. The Leccy
  8. RAM Energy
  9. Southend Energy
  10. White Rose Energy
  11. Your Energy Sussex

There have been 22 domestic energy supplier failures; 14 of these were in 2019.

After reading this article, if your old supplier appears on this list then here is what you need to do.

When a company fails, their customer base gets sold to a company chosen by Ofgem – this is known as the supplier of last resort (SOLR). The new supply should honour your previous prices, but now is a good time to compare what you have been offered and shop around the market for the best deals.

The instability of the energy market recently shouldn’t put you off switching suppliers. There are many secure choices – such as us.

Read up for reviews about a new supplier and watch out for cut price deals from suppliers who ask for several monthly payments in advance.

SUPPLIERS WHO HAVE GONE BUST

*since 2016

DateSupplierNo. Of Customers AffectedNew Supplier
27 Jan 2021Green Network Energy
(Green Network Energy Ltd)
360,000 domesticEDF Energy
27 Jan 2021Simplicity Energy
(Simplicity Energy Limited)
50,000 domesticBritish Gas Evolve
02 Dec 2020Yorkshire Energy
(Yorkshire Energy Limited)
74,000 domesticScottishPower
06 Oct 2020Tonik Energy
(Tonik Energy Ltd)
130,000 domesticScottishPower
03 Sep 2020Go Effortless Energy
(Effortless Energy Ltd )
2,500 domesticOctopus Energy
18 Mar 2020GnERGY
(Gnergy Ltd)
9,000 domesticBulb
18 Dec 2019Breeze Energy
(Breeze Energy Supply Limited)
18,000 domesticBritish Gas
23 Oct 2019Toto Energy
(TOTO Energy Limited)
134,000 domesticEDF Energy
15 Oct 2019Uttily Energy
(Rutherford Energy Supply Limited)
280 businessTotal Gas and Power
6 Sep 2019Eversmart Energy
(Eversmart Energy Ltd)
29,000 domesicUtilita
13 Aug 2019Solarplicity
(Solarplicity Supply Limited)
7,500 domestic
500 business (approx.)
SSE
9 Aug 2019Cardiff Energy Supply
(Cardiff Energy Supply Limited)
800 domesticSSE
11 Mar 2019Brilliant Energy
(Brilliant Energy Supply Limited)
17,000 domesticSSE
25 Jan 2019Our Power
(Our Power Energy Supply Limited)
31,000 domesticUtilita
8 Jan 2019Economy Energy
(Economy Energy Trading Limited)
235,000 domesticOVO Energy
10 Dec 2018One Select
(One Select Energy Supply Limited)
36,000 domesticTogether Energy
10 Dec 2018Spark Energy
(Spark Energy Supply Limited)
290,000 domesticOVO Energy
21 Nov 2018Extra Energy
(Extra Energy Supply Limited)
108,000 domestic
21,000 business
ScottishPower
15 Oct 2018Usio Energy
(Usio Energy Supply Limited)
7, 000 domesticFirst Utility
Sep 2018Gen4U
(Gen4u Ltd)
500 domesticOctopus Energy
27 Jul 2018Iresa
Iresa Limited
90,000 domestic (approx.)Octopus Energy
Jul 2018National Gas and Power Limited80 businessHudson Energy
25 Jan 2018Future Energy
Future Energy Utilities Limited
10,000 domesticGreen Star Energy
26 Nov 2016GB Energy Supply
GB Energy Supply Ltd
160,000 domesticCo-operative Energy

The information in this table has been sourced by public domain sources ic. Ofgem, supplier websites and Companies House filings.

The ‘Supplier’ column’ shows the name of the failed energy supplier.

The ‘New Supplier’ shows the company appointed by Ofgem to take over the customer base. This is undertaken under the SOLR provisions.

ENERGY SUPPLIERS WITHDRAWING FROM THE MARKET

*those who exited in a more civilised fashion, without crashing and burning.

DateSupplierNo. of Customers affectedExit TypeNew Supplier
15 Jan 2020SSE3.5 millionTrade saleOVO
29 Nov 2019Green Star Energy200,000Trade saleShell Energy
18 Sep 2019npower3.8 millionTrade saleE.ON
29 Aug 2019Co-operative Energy300,000Trade sale / Strategic partnershipOctopus Energy
5 Feb 2019Sainsbury’s EnergyNot disclosedWithdrawal from marketBritish Gas

No change to supplier as customers already supplied by British Gas
31 Aug 2018Affect Energy22,000 domesticTrade saleOctopus Energy
25 Jan 2018Flow Energy230,000 domesticTrade sale (at distressed prices)Co-operative Energy
21 Dec 2017Brighter World EnergyUnknownOrderly wind downRobin Hood Energy

As aforementioned, if your supplier fails you will be automatically moved onto another supplier’s tariffs. However, you do not have to stay there. Be sure to check if your tariff has changed and, if you’re in this situation, see it as an opportunity to shop the market and change your supplier!