Ofgem has appointed Utilita Energy as the supplier of last resort (SoLR) to failed supplier Our Power’s 31,000 domestic customers.

The industry regulator said the Hampshire-based supplier has committed to “make significant improvements” in its complaints handling and answering of phone calls by the end of March – making it easier for customers to contact them.

Bill Bullen, chief executive of Utilita Energy, said: “We welcome Our Power’s customers to Utilita and are committed to transferring them with minimum disruption.

“Many local authorities, social enterprises and individuals have opened energy supply businesses with the very best intentions in recent years.

“But, as we are increasingly seeing, many are also learning the harsh realities of hugely competitive and challenging market conditions.

“We are pleased we can step in to protect Our Power’s customers and to have satisfied Ofgem we can give them a great level of service, a seamless transition and a fair energy deal.”

Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s director for future retail markets, said: “I am pleased to announce we have appointed Utilita, which will offer Our Power’s customers a competitive tariff for their energy.

“We are pleased that Utilita has given firm commitments to delivering a positive customer experience.

“We expect them to continue building on this, to ensure a good customer experience for all customers.”

Our Power became the second supplier of 2019 to cease trading earlier this month, following Economy Energy.

The Edinburgh-based company, founded in 2016, was a not-for-profit organisation which exited the market owing the Scottish government “millions” of pounds in commercial rate loans.

In April last year Utilita filed for a judicial review into the end date for the installation of SMETS1 meters for pay as you go customers.

The company said it “repeatedly urged” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to push the deadline back to at least 2020.

It claimed it had been “left with no choice” and suggested SMETS2 meters could have a “negative impact” on vulnerable households if the network goes down.

In March last year Toto Energy transferred thousands of prepayment meter customers to Utilita.

The energy supplier said it has been “pushing hard” to improve all aspects of its business and has made the decision for the “good” of customers.

However Toto’s communication to customers was labelled as “appalling” by Citizens Advice.