Spark Energy, a small supplier with approximately 290,000 domestic customers, has become the latest energy firm to stop trading. If you’re affected, your energy supply will continue as normal and any outstanding credit balance you have is protected.
The energy regulator Ofgem says it will now look to appoint a new supplier to take on Spark Energy’s customers. Once this happens, the new supplier will contact you to let you know what happens next. In the meantime, Ofgem says customers should sit tight and not try to switch away from the failed supplier.
I’m a Spark Energy customer – what should I do?
If you’re a Spark Energy customer, Ofgem’s advice is:
- Do not switch to another energy supplier at this stage.
- Take a meter reading, ready for when your new supplier contacts you.
Ofgem says this will make the process of transferring customers over to a new supplier, and paying back any outstanding credit balances, as smooth as possible.
More information will follow from your new supplier once one has been appointed in the coming days.
If you need any further support, Spark Energy has advised customers to contact Ofgem – the regulator has a comprehensive set of FAQs here – or call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.
Will my bills go up?
Ofgem says that your current contract – whether you’re on a fixed or variable tariff – will end when you join the new supplier, and you’ll be placed on what’s known as a ‘deemed tariff”. These are often more expensive than other tariffs.
Once the new supplier contacts you, check if the deal you are being offered is the cheapest available to you.
How to find the cheapest deals available
1. Head over to a price comparison site like MoneySupermarket http://bit.ly/2MTXeg8 , EnergyHelpline http://bit.ly/2ODysPy or uSwitch http://bit.ly/2SKcDA1 and see which deals are available in your area. You should check more than just one comparison site as often trhey agree exclusive deals with suppliers.
2. Enter your postcode
3. Enter your usage information – For the most accurate comparison results, you’ll also need to input your household’s consumption details. You can get those off your most recent energy bill.
4. Once you’ve picked your new energy supplier and plan, confirm the switch by providing your full address and bank details (if you’ve chosen a direct debit plan, which are usually the cheapest).
I’m in credit with Spark Energy – Can I get it back?
Ofgem says that once a new supplier has been appointed, it will pay back any outstanding credit you may have.
Once Ofgem has appointed a new supplier, you will be contacted to explain how this will work. Ofgem says you should take a meter reading and a note of your balance, and wait for the new supplier to get in touch.
If you’ve switched or you’re in the process of switching away from Spark, any remaining credit is protected under the safety net scheme from Ofgem’s.
I’m paying back debt to Spark Energy. Will I still have to pay this back?
Once a new supplier is appointed by Ofgem, it will explain how things will work in practice.
Should I cancel my direct debit with Spark?
The new supplier should be able to automatically move your direct debit over once it’s appointed – though Ofgem says you’re free to stop this and cancel your direct debit before the new supplier contacts you if you want to.
When the new supplier does contact you, it will explain how it’ll take on your account, including direct debit arrangements.
I’m a prepay customer, what about me?
The notice posted on Spark Energy’s website says prepay customers should continue to top up as normal – your supply won’t be interrupted.
I’m already in the process of switching from Spark Energy. Should I continue?
If you have a switch in progress, you’ll continue to be moved to the new supplier of your choice.
If you’re in the process of switching to Spark Energy, Ofgem says it should go through as planned and you’ll then be moved over to the supplier Ofgem chooses to take over.