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I'm switching to OVO from People's Energy who've just announced they're no longer trading - Will my switch be affected?

  • 15 September 2021
  • 31 replies
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Hi, I read today that People’s Energy have ceased trading as of yesterday. I already began my switch from them to OVO on the 7th of September (not received contract yet, only “Welcome” email). Can I assume, as per Ofgem guidlines, that the switch will proceed without any intervention from me? Many Thanks

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 22 September 2021, 10:16

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Userlevel 1

Hi @Jess_OVO,

When I log in it tells me I now have a billing period of 17th Sept - 16th Oct, and although i did provide opening meter readings on 17th it has asked for a further electricity reading, which i have now provided. (it also thinks i’ve used over 1000kw of gas in one day, which is interesting to say the least).

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The Energy Supplier, Bulb is looking around for additional financing.

They’re one of the ‘better’ small suppliers, and it would be a shame to see them go under. It would be best if the Treasury could find a way to guarantee an investment from private funds rather than a direct government loan.

Let’s hope that Kwasi Kwarteng (BEIS) and Greg Hands (BEIS energy portfolio) can get some positive response from the Chancellor.

The problem with losing these smaller companies is that GB also loses some of the innovative strategies which they were working on in-house. We need that to secure our future development of energy technology.

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Yup, it’s definitely not standard practice, but unfortunately it’s happening way more than I’d like to admit at the moment. On the plus side, it sounds to me like you’ve jumped ship fast enough and OVO will ask for your opening readings in the next few days, as long as the switch isn’t rejected somehow - you’ll be kept informed either way. The opening readings you provide to OVO will be forwarded to Green Energy, their administrators or the appointed supplier as the closing readings for your old account, which should allow the Final Bill to be generated and processed. Once you pay that off, you’ll have no further relationships with them.

Fortunately, the switching processes across the entire market are well designed and do factor in a supplier going bust partway through a switch. It generally works a bit like this.

  • If you already started to switch away from the failed supplier before they activate SoLR (or similar) and are going to a new supplier in good standing, the switch should continue as planned - you will not be moved to the appointed supplier under SoLR because there’ll be a flag indicating that you’re already leaving the failed supplier anyway. However, if the switch fails to go through and reverts back, SoLR will trigger and your account will be transferred to the appointed supplier - you can retry the switch once that’s completed.
  • If you start to switch to the failed supplier before they activated SoLR (or similar), your switch will still continue BUT you’ll be automatically migrated to the appointed supplier via SoLR - you’ll be able to switch again after your account is set up with the appointed supplier if you wish. If the switch fails or is rejected though, you’ll bounce back to your previous supplier and SoLR won’t trigger.
  • If you attempt to switch away from the failed supplier after they activate SoLR (or similar) the switch will probably be rejected and/or take a lot longer than usual. Please wait for the appointed supplier to contact you and set up your account first before attempting to switch away - this will make things a lot easier.
  • If you attempt to switch to the failed supplier after they activated SoLR (or similar), the switch will fail automatically because they’ll have stopped taking on new customers - and in actual fact it should be impossible to get a quote anyway so you’ll probably get blocked if you attempt to do so. Also, any open quotes that were generated prior to the supplier going bust will become null and void immediately upon SoLR being activated. You’ll remain with your existing supplier in this case

I’m currently writing up a forum guide about this, as I think it’ll help a lot of people. Keep an eye out for it!

Userlevel 7

Hi @badgersmack - Welcome to OVO and to our online community,

 

A great question to ask about the usual switching process, which shouldn’t be affected by the recent news - it sounds as though your Direct Debit is still active with your previous supplier. This is expected as your account with them isn’t finalised until we’ve had your opening meter readings confirmed around 6 weeks after you joined us.

 

Have you managed to login to your online account with us yet (or downloaded the OVO app? - Available for Android or iOS). If you’ve just switched this should show a holding page which confirms your switching date and allows you to submit your opening meter readings.

 

Let us know if you need any help getting logged in - we’ve also got a great online account tutorial collection you might wanna check out. :slight_smile:

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Want the good news? That’s exactly what I’d be expecting to see if the switch to OVO is progressing normally. If you get prompted for the opening readings then that’s almost always a very good sign after all! So this makes me suspect your switch is almost complete in terms of getting you on-supply. The next stage after that will be closing down the old account with Green after you’ve gone off-supply with them (or whoever SoLR appoints to take their customers on).

That 1,000kWh Gas usage is a little strange, but it should resolve itself once you start submitting meter readings - please feel free to flag that up though if you wish. Once you’re fully on-supply, MyOVO will start to become more stable for you and you’ll be able to take full advantage of everything OVO offers. This forum is just the start! :wink:

The exact steps are a little complicated and it’s mostly background stuff. But in a nutshell, OVO will forward the Opening Readings onto Green Energy (well, Green’s administrators in this case to be precise - and references to Green Energy in my comments should be treated as referring to whoever is handling their affairs as well) as Closing Readings and ask for them to be verified. This gives Green a chance to dispute the readings if needed and (assuming they don’t raise a dispute) for them to generate the Final Bill so you can pay it off. If you do owe anything to Green Energy, I would definitely recommend paying it off as soon as possible - their administrators will definitely appreciate it as it’ll make their life a lot easier. Likewise, they’ll make sure you get any spare credit back automatically if there’s any leftover after paying the Final Bill - in which case you can simply let the payment process handle everything automatically.

Once all that’s done, their system should normally proceed to close down the account and chuck it in the archives, along with disabling marketing and terminating all future payments. I don’t know if the usual automated processes would still work in the event SoLR is triggered, but I would imagine that somehow it’ll get taken care of by someone. Even if it has to be done manually, your spare credit is protected and you’ll get it back at some point in the future.

There’s been quite a few suppliers going bust recently and I think this forum is probably getting quite a lot of traffic because of it. So if you’re reading this thread and need advice on basically anything at all related to switching supplier (even if you’re not planning to switch to OVO!), please do feel free to ask for help on here. We’ll always try to advise the best we can!

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If you’d like to be extra safe though, I can also throw in a bonus service free of charge. It’s something we do a lot here on the forum and I think it’s something you might benefit from.

If you’d like me to, I can check to see if your Smart Meters (if you have them) will be compatible with OVO. Please feel free to post photos of your Smart Meters and In-Home Display in your next reply on this thread and I’ll take a look. It’d be great if you could make sure the photos show any equipment that’s close by as well, as this helps to make it easier to identify what you have.

Sorry to hear that your old supplier went down, but I hope your journey with OVO is a good one. We’ll be here anytime you need us, but feel free to chat with the Support Team too. They’ll make sure your switch goes through smoothly.

Thanks @Blastoise186 - you’ll probably have read now that UtilityPoint have also gone under as of yesterday 🤦🏻‍♂️

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Yeah, this is precisely the time when a lot of suppliers go down. So far, the most recent ones to bite the dust that I’m aware of are now:

  • Utility Point
  • MoneyPlus Energy
  • Peoples Energy
  • Yorkshire Energy
  • PFP Energy

And probably will be more soon...

Userlevel 7

Some excellent advice from our community volunteer, @Blastoise186.

 

Nothing more to add other than to confirm - I’ve checked in with our transfers team who have advised that any switches already initiated are unaffected when a supplier goes into administration and through the Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR) process. 

 

Hope this put’s your mind at ease, @anj747 and welcome to OVO!

 

If you haven’t already checked it out we’ve got a great guide on what to expect when you switch to OVO here:slight_smile:

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I switched and you took payment on 17th September, yet my old supplier (Green, now going out of business) have taken payment last week and attempted another today despite me being in credit. Has my switch failed?

 

Your chatbot said I wasn’t a customer yet when I asked about smart meters last week,which is concerning. 

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Yeah, I think I’ll have to put Symbio on my watchlist of suppliers that might be at risk of going under. To be honest, if you’re currently banned from taking on new customers and all your existing customers leave while the ban is in effect… That kinda spells trouble, right?

By the way, I’m sorry to say this… But their website is absolutely horrible too! It’s got a terrible design that gives me the impression it was done by a pre-schooler in Serif WebPlus X8 (don’t worry, that software is long gone). Sorry, but it just does!

Anyway, I’m tempted to write a new forum guide about SoLR. It’s a little tricky to do, but I think I can probably pull it off if I minimise any OVO references.

Be interesting to see what the next steps are for some of the switching sites. They are useful for comparing rates, even though sometimes it is better to go direct. 

 

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Well, it seems that Ofgem has decided on having British Gas take on SoLR duty for People’s Energy. I’ve updated my answer above with the latest information.

I don’t have the ability to do those fancy Mod Banners though to properly mark the updated date heading. Can I borrow your ModPowers for a sec @Jess_OVO ?

Just received a welcome email from British Gas telling me I’m their customer now that People’s Energy are kaput. How has this happened considering I triggered a switch to OVO a week before they announced they were going bust? I hope this isn’t going to get messy..

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That’s weird, thanks for flagging!

As far as I’m concerned, based on what you’ve said you definitely jumped ship at least a week before SoLR was activated. I suspect that email was just a generic mail blast to everyone who was on the books of People’s Energy in one form or another when SoLR activated - and it probably didn’t factor in people who had already left or were in the process of leaving anyway. Even factoring in the five day initial period… That’s still enough time for the message to have gotten through.

If you want to be safe, definitely feel free to double check with the Support Team in the morning and they’ll hopefully be able to verify what’s actually going on. You can’t be moving to two different suppliers at the same time anyway, so I would imagine that OVO is the “winner” here because OVO will have placed a lock against switching to anyone else while your existing switch is in progress. It is impossible for SoLR to be triggered before it is officially announced so… This seems like an admin error on the part of British Gas.

If you get punted their way anyway, consider that to be an Erroneous Transfer - and in such cases OVO will be able to pull your account back from the other supplier with your consent and get you back to how you were before the mix up.

Let me play my legendary Joker Cards here as well, and ask @Tim_OVO or @Jess_OVO to see if the transfers team know anything else about how SoLR behaves here.

Userlevel 7

If you're switching to OVO Energy from a company that's just announced that they've ceased trading, we can reassure you, your switch will be absolutely fine. Once you’ve started the switching process everything is handled by your new supplier (that's us!), so it’s all under control. The only thing that could be delayed is getting any credit balance back from your old supplier. The good news is that your credit is protected by rules set out by the regulator, Ofgem – so you won’t lose it. There might just be a delay transferring it to us.

 

We’ve posted a blog made some FAQs on wholesale energy prices and the impact this is having.

 

Sorry that you’re still waiting to hear back from the team on this one, @anj747 .

 

As you've had a big delay in the confirmation of your switching date, I’ve checked in with our onboarding team who’ve advised that whilst the ‘Supplier of Last Resort’ (SOLR) process shouldn’t interrupt your switch, there’s a possibility it could be delayed for another reason (the previous supplier objecting for instance). As you’re still yet to have a switching date confirmed and it’s been over 5 days since you requested the switch, I’d recommend reaching out to the Support Team today to look into this further - the quickest way to contact the team is via our webchat - a link to this can be found on the bottom of this page.

 

I’m hoping we can get this sorted for you ASAP - let us know how you get on. 

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Sorry to hear that. It’s definitely not quite what I’d have expected either.

British Gas is a terribly overpriced supplier and you’ll probably want to jump ship from them as soon as possible. I think you’ll be able to try to switch to OVO again within the next few days, but you may need to wait for British Gas to set up the basics first.

Sorry for the trouble! As far as I’m aware, most of the price increases have already occurred for fixed rate deals so if you try to switch to OVO again, you might get a similar quote. It’s mainly the variable rate tariffs that will be affected on the 1st October.

Userlevel 7

 

I think you’ll be able to try to switch to OVO again within the next few days, but you may need to wait for British Gas to set up the basics first.

Sorry for the trouble! As far as I’m aware, most of the price increases have already occurred for fixed rate deals so if you try to switch to OVO again, you might get a similar quote. It’s mainly the variable rate tariffs that will be affected on the 1st October.

 

Despite what @Blastoise186  has guessed, we’re unable to give advice on our current fixed price offerings as the situation is developing. 

 

The best thing to do now will be to refer to any communications you receive from British Gas, who’ll let you know what plans are available to you with them and when you’re free to request a switch to a different supplier.

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I am potentially about to put this process to the test. I have just initiated a switch from Igloo. They haven’t technically gone bust yet, but the media are reporting they are in talks.

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I’ll have to assume the switch has occurred as I have a ‘welcome’ email and account number (had these during the abrupt smart meter chat too). I guess having your previous supplier go out of business during the switch process isn’t standard practice!

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Updated on 20/09/21 by Blastoise186

 

Hi there @anj747 ,

Thanks for the heads up. This is the first I’ve heard about it. That’s at least the third supplier this month then - especially since MoneyPlus Energy and PFP Energy also went bust recently.

But as you’ve already started to switch to OVO, you’ll be safe. Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) won’t trigger for your account, since you already initiated the switch process before then and your account is already being offboarded from People’s Energy. As such, your switch to OVO will continue as planned. You might have a bit of fun paying the Final Bill from People’s Energy, but either they or their administrators will be in touch to sort that out - and also issue a final refund if needed.

In the meantime, OVO will continue setting you up as planned and your supply won’t be affected. Please take a meter reading once OVO asks for them and this will definitely help the process.

If we can help with anything else, please feel free to ask.

By the way, I just want to put this here as a quick heads up to anyone who reads this thread. I’ve already started to see evidence of scammers attempting to take advantage of the collapse of People’s Energy, Utility Point, MoneyPlus Energy and PFP Energy. I’d like to take the opportunity to remind you that the only official contact you’ll have in regards to these suppliers will be from the suppliers themselves, their appointed administrators and from the new supplier that Ofgem appoints via SoLR once it becomes known. Please see the links below for more details on each supplier. These should be considered as the single source of truth. I will try to update this answer with any new information as it becomes available.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/moneyplus-energy-customers-your-questions-new-supplier-british-gas

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/pfp-energy-customers-your-questions-new-supplier-british-gas

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-protects-customers-failed-suppliers-utility-point-and-peoples-energy

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/peoples-energy-customers-your-questions-new-supplier-british-gas

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/what-happens-if-your-energy-supplier-goes-bust

This forum gets really good SEO, which is why I’ve decided to put these links here even though Ofgem SoLR might not select OVO as the new supplier. You can find almost everything you need to know from the links above, but we’re also happy to advise on the forum if you’re still unsure about anything.

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Yeah, this is precisely the time when a lot of suppliers go down. So far, the most recent ones to bite the dust that I’m aware of are now:

  • Utility Point
  • MoneyPlus Energy
  • Peoples Energy
  • Yorkshire Energy
  • PFP Energy

And probably will be more soon...

It is not clear what will happen next with Symbio for example given that Ofgem won't let them take on new customers due to various non payments.

Hence they don't currently appear on switching services and you can't get a quote via their website.

They don't have great reviews but that is a separate matter. 

It must be hard for the smaller players who didn't buy ahead much of their energy and don't have big backers who can subsidise rates at the moment.

Some smaller suppliers have been complaining about the highly subsidised rates making it difficult to compete. 

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Yeah, I think I’ll have to put Symbio on my watchlist of suppliers that might be at risk of going under. To be honest, if you’re currently banned from taking on new customers and all your existing customers leave while the ban is in effect… That kinda spells trouble, right?

By the way, I’m sorry to say this… But their website is absolutely horrible too! It’s got a terrible design that gives me the impression it was done by a pre-schooler in Serif WebPlus X8 (don’t worry, that software is long gone). Sorry, but it just does!

Anyway, I’m tempted to write a new forum guide about SoLR. It’s a little tricky to do, but I think I can probably pull it off if I minimise any OVO references.

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May I also point out to potential customers fleeing from Energy Suppliers who are collapsing due to the high price of wholesale gas, that all aspects of the switch process are handled by the receiving Supplier.

You do not need any communication with the old Supplier, not even to give them a final meter reading.

All the necessary data is already held by the two National Meter Databases; that’s ECOES for electricity and Xoserve for gas.

The only issue you will face with the old Supplier is the time waiting for the appointed Receiver to return money you had in credit on your account. That refund is guaranteed by Ofgem, but it takes time because the Receiver/Administrator gets deluged with correspondence from customers demanding attention.

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Update: Go Effortless has ceased trading and their customers being acquired by Octopus.

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Ouch, that is... Not good…

It just goes to show how horrible the energy market is at the moment for suppliers.

I'm tracking a few potential at-risk suppliers at the moment and keeping notes in my private vaults. I don't like to speculate though, so I won't be revealing anything about what I'm tracking.

But I'm not going to dispute the fact that there will definitely be more suppliers biting the dust sooner or later. We've probably now seen maybe six recently? But I can definitely confirm four have gone down this month. That's easy to verify.

I think I've got myself a job for tomorrow then...

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