Back from the Brink? How Consumers are still reeling from the energy market meltdown
Since the beginning of August 2021, 28 energy suppliers have failed, causing turmoil for over 4 million customers. Our research shows that, though the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process worked well for the majority, a significant minority of people continue to face severe disruption. Supplier failure and Special Administration processes need reform.
We have found that:
- Credit refunds remain outstanding months on - with confusion around when they will be paid
- Customers experience aggressive tactics from unregulated debt collection
- Customers often receive inaccurate bills as a result of poor data management pre-failure, but face a lottery as to whether administrators can investigate, often leaving them without redress.
- Unlike energy suppliers, administrators can backbill customers - meaning they can demand payment for unbilled usage dating back over a year.
- Consumers are expected to foot an ever growing bill for the failure of Bulb - currently £70 per person.
There are just 12 weeks before the start of winter. Before the nation needs to switch on their heating, action needs to be taken to ensure that the costs of regulatory failures of the past don’t add to the already high burden households are facing.
We support the Government in providing Ofgem with more powers to step in when energy suppliers fail and to tackle problems with administrators.