Poole-based energy supplier Utility Point ceases trading – Bournemouth Echo

A DORSET-based energy supplier has ceased trading, affecting around 220,000 domestic customers.

Utility Point, which is based at Merck House, Seldown, in Poole, supplies gas and electricity to about hundreds of thousands of customers.

The company’s demise has come at the same time as Scotland-based People’s Energy, which about 350,000 domestic customers and 1,000 non-domestic customers.

Separately, the regulator also ordered Avro Energy to comply by sending it financial information, or risk having its licence removed.

The energy supply and credit balances of Utility Point and People’s Energy customers will be protected under Ofgem’s safety net.

The regulator said affected customers will be contacted by their new supplier, which will be appointed soon.

Until then, they are advised not to switch to another supplier and have a meter reading ready for when their new supplier contacts them.

The development came after fellow suppliers PfP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy went bust a week ago.

Ofgem director of retail Neil Lawrence said: “Although the news that a supplier going out of business can be unsettling, Utility Point and People’s Energy customers do not need to worry.

“Under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you are a domestic customer with credit on your Utility Point or People’s Energy account this is protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.

“Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime. You can rely on your energy supply as normal.

“We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff.”

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy for Citizens Advice, said: “The failure of Utility Point and People’s Energy leaves more than half a million customers facing uncertainty. With the energy price hike and cut to Universal Credit due in the next fortnight, this comes at a hugely unsettling time for many.

“With more customers affected at one time than ever before, Ofgem must provide support and protection – especially for those worried about their finances.

“If you’re a customer of a failed supplier, Ofgem will move you on to 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.”

Ofgem also said it had issued a provisional order to Avro Energy, another energy supplier, to give it financial and other information.

The regulator said it had first requested the information on August 19, without supplying details.

On Tuesday it required Avro to immediately provide the information and said it expects the company “to engage in constructive discussions about their financial projections”.

“Failure to provide the financial information requested by Ofgem is a breach of Avro Energy’s licence conditions, which all suppliers in the market have signed up to,” the regulator said.

If it does not comply with the order, Avro could be fined or be stripped of its licence to provide energy.

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