A British energy supplier which tried to disrupt the market with cheaper prices has collapsed, blaming rising fuel prices.
Around 160,000 customers will be affected in the UK, meaning they are more than likely to face fuel price hikes as they switch to new suppliers. GB Energy Supply stopped trading, leaving many facing the task of shopping around for a new supplier and a new deal.
Energy watchdog Ofgem will now step in to make sure that a new firm being appointed for GB Energy’s customers acts in their best interests. The watchdog said that no customers should worry about having their energy cut off during the change over process. Any outstanding credit balances will also be protected, and either refunded or passed on to their new account.
In a statement on its website, GB Energy said: “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.”
GB Energy customers are being advised to take a meter reading now and to wait for their new supplier to get in touch. Ofgem says that customers should make sure that they ask for the cheapest deal when their supplier contacts them.
Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem’s senior partner for consumers and competition, advised: “If you are a customer of GB Energy Supply 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.”