If you’re one of the 90,000 customers affected by the collapse of Iresa Energy, you may well be wondering what you do now.
Last week we outlined what to do if your energy supplier goes bust, with the overriding message being to sit tight until Ofgem reallocates your contract – that’s now been done, as the energy regulator has chosen Octopus Energy as the preferred provider to take over the vacant contracts, so what are your options?
If you had an energy contract with Iresa when it collapsed you’re contract will automatically be switched over to Octopus Energy by August 21st and, more importantly, your energy supply won’t be interrupted and you’ll continue to receive gas and electricity as normal.
If you have experienced any disruption to your supply, call Octopus on 0808 1781551, or email email@example.com.
Octopus Energy will be in touch within the next seven days with details of the switch and what you need to do next. In the meantime, make a note of your latest gas and electricity meter readings to help make sure your first bill is correct.
As a former Iresa customer, you’ll be switched to Octopus Energy’s ‘Flexible Octopus’ tariff, which costs an average of £995 a year for dual fuel customers, which could be more expensive than the deal you were previously on. Not only that, this is a variable rate deal, which means the rate you pay can fluctuate, causing your bills to go up or down, even if you use the same amount of energy each month.
The good news is that this tariff has no exit fees, so you will be free to shop around and switch energy supplier from August 21st, once all the switches are completed – you won’t be able to switch before then, simply because two switches can’t happen at the same time.
Alternatively, you can asked to be put on a different, more competitive, Octopus Energy tariff.
If you are in credit when your supplier goes bust, Ofgem says your new supplier should pay back any outstanding credit – so, in this case, Octopus Energy should refund you and will be in touch to outline how this will work.
This shouldn’t affect when you can switch supplier, and Octopus should still honour your refund even if you switch before it is paid, but make sure you clarify this before you switch.
The review process may take a few weeks as Octopus Energy need to receive and review records from Iresa. The money you are owed will be calculated by Iresa’s administrators, and any unbilled charges for your supply by Iresa will be deducted.
If you were in debt with Iresa when it went bust, you’ll still have to pay any outstanding balance, and you may even find you’re not allowed to switch supplier until this is paid off. This will be dealt with by Iresa's administrators, who will contact you directly to arrange repayments.
If you had a Direct Debit set up with Iresa, this will automatically be moved to Octopus Energy. If you cancelled your direct debit when you heard Iresa was going bust, Octopus will be in touch to help you set up a new account.
If you were already in the process of switching from Iresa when it went bust, your switch will go through as normal.
If you have recently switched from Iresa, you may still be contacted by Octopus Energy - a glitch in the system means some customers who left the now-defunct energy supplier months ago are being contacted and told they’ll be switched to Octopus.
If you have been contacted in error, you should contact Octopus Energy by calling 0330 808 1080 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you had already switched from Iresa.
Octopus has confirmed it will now be cross-checking its data with industry databases and, if it confirms you’re already with a new supplier, it will not switch you away.
If you had moved out of a property which is supplied by Iresa and have been contacted, Octopus Energy will try to get the details of the new occupier if possible, but will arrange to cancel the account in your name.
If you are with Iresa but didn't know, Octopus Energy will try and establish what has happened and return you to your previous supplier if possible.
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