Future Energy, a regional energy supplier with around 10,000 household customers mainly in the North East and Yorkshire, has ceased trading.
Ofgem has advised affected customers not to switch until it has appointed a new supplier to take over their accounts. It said this will ensure the transfer process is as smooth as possible.
The regulator told customers to take a meter reading and wait until they are contacted by the new supplier, assuring them their energy supplies will not be interrupted in the meantime.
Ofgem interim senior partner for consumers and competition Rob Salter-Church said: “If you are a customer of Future Energy there is no need to worry as we will make sure your energy supplies are secure and your credit balance is protected.
“Ofgem is working to choose a new supplier as quickly as possible for you. Whilst we’re doing this, our advice is to sit tight and don’t switch. You can continue to rely on your energy supply as normal – in fact the only thing that will change is that you’ll get a new supplier.”
The message was reinforced by Citizens Advice, whose director of energy, Victoria MacGregor, said: “Future Energy customers’ gas and electricity will continue as normal – so they’ll still be able to heat and light their homes.”
She continued: “It’s important these customers sit tight and wait for Ofgem to organise the new supplier. Switching to another energy company at this stage could mean they don’t get any refunds they may be entitled to… We’re working closely with Ofgem to make sure people can get the help they need.”
The announcement on Future Energy’s website gave no explanation for the closure.
Future Energy is the second supplier to cease trading this winter after Brighter World Energy closed in December. The social supplier said its business model has become unsustainable over the long-term due market conditions. Its customers were taken over by Robin Hood Energy, the council-owned supplier provided the white-label tariffs it offered to customers.
Last winter GB Energy Supply went bust, blaming rising wholesale energy prices for making its position “untenable”. Ofgem appointed Coop Energy to take on its 160,000 customers.
The incident prompted concerns over the financial resilience of smaller suppliers. In response, Ofgem announced it would review its process for awarding licences to new entrants.