Ofgem takes firm steps in ensuring compliance


UK energy regulator Ofgem has appointed big six energy company EDF Energy to take over the customer-base of Solarplicity, which ceased trading during the week of 11 August. The regulator also recently revoked supplier URE Energy’s electricity licence for failing to meet renewables obligations.

The companies collapse followed two weeks after Solarplicity transferred 43,000 customers to Toto Energy during a flawed process that also saw some ex-customers switched to Toto.

The small supplier had been dogged by customer service issues, eventually being temporarily banned from accepting new customers earlier in 2019. The ban was followed by a further dispute with Ofgem over their failure to make payments to FIT Generators on time.

Solarplicity’s remaining 7,500 domestic customers and 500 business customers will be transferred to EDF Energy, which will ensure all credit balances are honoured. Customers can expect zero disruptions to service as per Ofgem’s “safety net” policy, and will be informed of next steps once their accounts have been set up.

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A spokesperson from EDF Energy said: “We are pleased to be able to step in to support the customers of Solarplicity, who will have been concerned to hear that their existing has stopped trading. They should feel reassured that with EDF Energy, they will be moving to an experienced and reliable supplier, with a good track record for customer service.

“Customers are asked to take a meter reading and we will write to them in the coming weeks, providing them the details of their new accounts and any further actions they need to take.”

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David Elbourne, the chief executive of Solarplicity, responded to the collapse of the suppler with heavy criticism of Ofgem, claiming the regulator had made unnecessary statements regaring the supplier’s finances during the confirmation of the provisional order, which muddied the possibility of selling the remaining parts of the company’s energy supply business.

Elbourne further blamed the energy market under Ofgem, which he said made competition unviable for smaller suppliers in a ‘highly regulated’ sector.