Ofgem has appointed Bulb to take on the 9,000 customers stranded by the collapse of small supplier GnERGY.
GnERGY fell into administration last week after struggling to pay its £673,876.62 debt to the Renewables Obligation (RO) buyout fund. Ofgem issued the Farnborough-based supplier with a failure to comply notice in January and suggested its supply licence might be stripped.
Ofgem’s safety net protected the supplies of Bulb’s 9,000 customers, who will now be allocated to Bulb, following a competitive Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process.
Bulb is offering GnERGY customers a competitive tariff and will honour all credit balances of all existing and current domestic customers.
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s Director of Future Retail Markets, said: “I am pleased to announce we have appointed Bulb for the customers of Gnergy. Their energy supply will continue as normal and credit balances will be honoured.
“Bulb will be in contact with customers over the coming days with further information. Once the transfer has been completed, customers can shop around for a better deal if they wish to.”
Renewable supplier Bulb has grown quickly since its launch in 2015 and now serves more than 1.6 million customers, as one of the largest energy companies outside of the Big Six. The firm’s financial losses have also soared, to £129 million between April 2018 and March 2019.
Co-founder and CEO Hayden Wood has said the losses are part of an ambitious plan that will see Bulb expand into foreign territories and eventually serve 100 million customers worldwide. Bulb is launching ventures in France, Spain and the U.S. state Texas in 2020.
Bulb recently trimmed their gas bills by an average of £78 a year, in response to falling wholesale gas prices. A £22 increase in electricity costs offset some of the savings, but Bulb customers will see their annual bills fall by a typical £56.
GnERGY is the 18th energy supplier to fail since the beginning of 2018, following the collapse of Breeze Energy in December and Toto Energy in October. Like GnERGY, both Breeze and Toto had struggled to make payments into the Renewable Obligation scheme, which supports clean energy generation.
In total, 42 energy suppliers missed the initial August 31 deadline for paying into the RO buyout fund, leaving a shortfall of nearly £206 million. Outgoing Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan has suggested yearly RO payments be converted into monthly bills, so suppliers don't rack up large debts they're unable to clear.
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