Scottish Power has been appointed by Ofgem to take on Extra Energy’s customers after the latter ceased trading last week.
The Big Six company will see 108,000 domestic customers and 21,000 business customers added to its 5 million users.
The selection was made following what Ofgem called a “competitive process” to “get the best deal possible”. In the mean time customers may rest assured that their gas and electricity supply will remain protected.
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s interim director for future retail markets, said:
“We are pleased to secure a deal with Scottish Power, where Extra Energy’s domestic and business customers will be offered a competitive tariff for their energy. Their credit balances will be honoured and their energy supply will continue as normal.
“Our advice for customers of Extra Energy is to wait until Scottish Power contacts you. They will give you more information about the tariff you are on, and about your credit balance if you have one. Once the transfer has been completed you can shop around for a better deal if you wish to.”
Scottish Power will honour any outstanding credit balances from Extra Energy customers, which includes money owed to former or existing customers whether they are domestic or business.
Customers were told to “sit tight” by Pickford while the energy supplies are transferred. They were also advised to take a meter reading as soon as possible in case of later billing disputes.
Those that are transferred will be immediately placed on the ‘deemed’ or, ‘default’ tariff, which is likely to be expensive.
Customers have been advised not to switch supplier until the transfer has been completed, and wait for the company to contact them before taking action.
However, this tariff will not have an exit fee, and so once the transfer from Extra Energy to Scottish Power is complete, customers will be able to find another deal without facing any extra costs.
As of October 2018, Scottish Power became the first major UK energy company able to generate all its electricity from wind power over goal and gas, after it sold its final conventional generation business for £702 million to Drax.
The Big Six suppliers have been losing customers consistently, as many customers have chosen to switch to smaller suppliers.
In July, Scottish Power had reported losing around 100,000 residential customers in the second quarter of the year.
Since the gas and electricity supply markets became open to competition there were a total of 73 suppliers, as of June this year. However, 6 smaller companies – like Extra Energy – have collapsed since the start of this year.
Extra Energy’s chief executive Nick Read had blamed government price caps, and other regulatory changes for “making the market unviable”.
Six smaller firms have gone under since the start of 2018. Complaints procedure is often an issue, with The Energy Ombudsman claiming that it had started investigating the 1160 complaints made about Extra Energy over the last year.