Another small energy company has folded, forcing the energy regulator to step in to protect customers’ supplies.
Rutherford Energy Supply served around 280 business customers before it ceased to trade this week. Those businesses will continue to receive energy as usual under Ofgem’s safety net.
The regulator will reallocate those customers to a new supplier in the coming days. In the meantime, customers of Rutherford Energy Supply are urged to sit tight and not attempt to switch until they have been contacted by their new supplier. They should take a meter reading now to give to the new supplier.
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s director for future retail markets, said: “Rutherford Energy’s customers do not need to worry, as under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies are secure.”
However, unlike with domestic energy customers, business customers do not receive protection for their credit balances through the regulator’s safety net.
Ofgem tries to appoint a new supplier that can cover all or some of the outstanding credit balances for stranded business energy customers. However, this isn’t always possible. Business customers will need to contact the failed supplier’s administrator to inquire about their balances and possibly go through the administration process to recover them, in the same way they would if any of their other service providers entered insolvency proceedings.
Debts that business customers owe to collapsed suppliers will be recovered according to procedures put into place by the administrator.
Rutherford Energy Supply’s parent company, Uttily Plc, also ceased to trade. Uttily, however, did not directly supply energy to customers. Instead, it entered arrangements with partner suppliers to supply around 360 customers under the Uttily brand. Most customers will continue to be supplied by the relevant partner supplier. Those whose partner supplier was Rutherford Energy Supply will be appointed a new supplier.
Rutherford Energy Supply joins more than a dozen energy suppliers – most of them primarily serving the domestic energy market – which have also failed over the last two years.