Spark Energy Supply Limited has ceased trading in the energy supply market.
The company has put the move down to difficult trading conditions in the energy industry.
In a statement, Ofgem said that under its safety net, the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) mechanism, supply to the domestic energy retailer’s 290,000 customers, will continue as normal. Also, their outstanding credit balances will be protected.
The regulator added that it will choose a new supplier to take on Spark Energy’s customers as quickly as possible. This supplier will contact customers shortly after being appointed. Advice in the meantime was not to switch energy supplier and to supply a meter reading when contacted.
Mary Starks, Ofgem’s Executive Director for Consumers and Markets, said: “Our message to energy customers with Spark is there is no need to worry, as under our safety net we will make sure your energy supplies are secure and your credit balance is protected.
“Ofgem will now choose a new supplier and ensure you get the best deal possible. Whilst we’re doing this our advice is to ‘sit tight’ and don’t switch. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff.
“Although we have seen a number of supplier failures this year, our safety net procedures are working as they should to protect customers.”
This also follows news earlier this week of Extra Energy, an energy supplier with about 108,000 domestic and 21,000 business customers, having ceased to trade. Ofgem is in the process of choosing a new supplier to take on Extra Energy’s customers as quickly as possible.
Earlier this week, Ofgem launched an investigation into Spark Energy’s non-payment into the government’s Renewable Obligation schemes. The investigation will now close.
Also this week, Utility Week reported that Spark Energy had entered merger talks after missing £14.4m in RO payments.
In a statement on its website this weekend Spark Energy says: “The part of our group which supplies gas and electricity to homes across the country – Spark Energy Supply Limited – will be unable to continue supplying customers due to increasingly tough trading conditions in the energy industry. Our other group companies are operating as normal.”