Ovo Energy has been confirmed as the supplier of last resort (SoLR) for the 290,000 customers of failed supplier Spark Energy, Ofgem has confirmed.

The Bristol-based company has also acquired Spark Energy’s operating group, Spark Energy Ltd, meaning customers will continue to be billed by Spark and be contacted by Spark’s customer service staff.

Spark Energy’s customers will stay on the same tariffs and all outstanding credit balances will be honoured, including money owed to both existing and former customers of Spark Energy.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive and founder of Ovo said: “The energy sector is going through a major change and many companies, big and small, are struggling to adapt. We are delighted to have been able to bring Spark into the Ovo Energy Group, securing a good outcome for their customers and the team.

“We will combine Ovo’s innovative technology and focus on customer experience with Spark’s unique network of partnerships to bring greater products and services to more households around the UK.”

Chris Gauld, chief executive of Spark, added: “This is great news. It means Spark becomes part of a very successful large independent energy supplier.

“We will service our customers, under Ovo’s licence, from our existing offices, and continue to grow our niche model of partnering with leading letting and estate agent companies.

“I’m delighted that we can continue to grow as part of the Ovo family with a renewed confidence in the future despite the challenges the sector is facing.”

Mary Starks, Ofgem’s executive director for consumers and markets, said: “I am pleased we have appointed Ovo Energy, and that Spark Energy’s customers will be offered the same tariffs they are already on.

“Their credit balances will be honoured and their energy supply will continue as normal.

“Ovo Energy, under the Spark Energy brand, 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.”