Small provider GB Energy Supply announce this weekend that it is to cease trading with immediate effect, due to fast rising costs for wholesale energy.
They said, in a statement written by managing director Luke Watson, published on their website, that difficulties due to increasing wholesale costs meant that they could no longer continue functioning.
“Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to allow us to access the best possible wholesale prices, means that the position of the business has become untenable.”
The supplier has made an agreement with Ofgem and Co-operative Energy will be taking over the accounts of all 160,000 of their existing customers customers, as of the end of November.
Ben Reid CEO of Midcounties Co-Operative, who owns Co-operative Energy, assured GB’s customers: “We will honour your current contract and price until it is due to expire. This means you do not need to do anything and, rest assured, we will contact you again before your current contract ends with all the information you need and what to do next.”
Ofgem senior partner Rachel Fletcher also tried to reassure GB Energy Supply’s customers, prior to the arrangement with Co-operative Energy being fully decided.
“There is no need to worry as we will ensure your energy supplies are safe. Ofgem are actively working with the industry to ensure your transition to a new supplier is as smooth as possible. While this process is under way our advice is not to do anything as you can continue to rely on your energy supply as normal,” she said.
Ofgem did issue a statement saying that customers would be moved on to deemed tariffs, which tend to be the most expensive offered by suppliers. The reasoning is that the new provider is taking on added risk by taking on thousands of customers “without the usual background credit checks”. As such, they “charge more, to make up for this extra risk”.
Existing GB customers have been expressing concern about their inability to access their online accounts and bills, since the website has been taken down and now only displays a letter confirming the cessation of trading and Co-operative takeover.
If you’ve been affected by this, the best thing to do is, as Ofgem and Mr Reid have said, sit tight and wait for notice from the new supplier, who will handle the transition, including transferring over any direct debits. In the meantime, take down your meter readings to make sure that you have them up to date when your supply is switched over. There will be no break in actual supply.