On 26th November, domestic energy provider GB Energy announced that they have ceased trading, leaving 160,000 households at risk of facing higher energy bills. The company blamed rising oil prices and the increase on wholesale gas and electricity costs. Due to these difficulties, GB Energy is the first budget energy provider that has stopped trading this winter.
If you were affected by the closure of GB Energy, here are the key facts you need to know to keep your energy bills in check:
An interruption to their energy supply is one fear that many GB Energy customers will have as we head into the darker, colder winter. However, Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, has ensured consumers, that their energy supply will continue and be maintained by Co-operative Energy throughout the transitionary period.
Ofgem has announced that Co-operative Energy will be taking on all previous GB Energy customers from November 30th. Following an assessment of different suppliers, Ofgem stated that Co-operative Energy has been chosen to take over GB Energy’s customer contracts because they provided the best deal possible compared to their industry rivals. GB Energy customers can expect the transfer to happen automatically, however, you are not tied into this contract and will be able to start shopping around once the new supplier gets in touch.
Co-operative Energy has stated that all past and present credit balances will be honored, with the help of Ofgem’s safety net - a fund created to protect customers if a supplier becomes insolvent.
Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem’s senior partner for consumers and competition, stated:
“We are very pleased to have been able to secure a deal with Co-operative Energy, where GB Energy Supply customers will be paying the same price for their energy as they were before.”
Co-operative Energy will put all GB Energy customers on a ‘deemed’ contract, that will allow them to maintain their current pricing. However, ’deemed’ contract may result in you paying more for your energy bills in the future. This special type of assigned contracts may get more expensive in the future as Co-operative Energy is taking more risk. By signing up GB Energy’s customers, Co-operative Energy is unable to carry out their due diligence, such as running background checks prior to the migration of all the energy contracts. Therefore, there’s the chance that Co-operative Energy may decide to make up for the extra risk at a later date.
You don’t need to cancel your direct debit. As part of the migration to Co-operative Energy, all direct debit payments will be transferred automatically. Ofgem has also advised consumers to wait until the new supplier gets in touch before considering alternative energy tariffs with other suppliers. Co-operative Energy’s staff will be able to provide you with more information about your current energy tariffs and your account credit balance.
Tip: To make the whole process as easy as possible, take note of your meter readings prior to this so Co-operative Energy can update your account with the latest information as soon as possible.
Once contacted by Co-operative Energy, GB Energy customers are free to compare energy tariffs and switch with no exit fees. Once your account is fully set up by with Co-operative Energy, you should take the time shop around and compare deals to see if there is a cheaper deal on the market.
In order to help compare deals from across the energy market, UKPower.co.uk presents all tariffs so you don’t have to shop around and find a cheaper deal on any other price comparison website.
For more information, check out What happens when your energy supplier goes bust?
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.