February 15, 2018
Citizens Advice is calling for more stringent checks on small energy suppliers after the collapse of Future Energy last month.
Citizens Advice said that some energy suppliers are not able to meet the "minimum standards set out in the supply licence" and has asked regulator, Ofgem, to change the licensing process.
It is their experience working with newer suppliers, that some companies do not have the systems in place to meet the minimum standards set out in the supply licence. Citizens Advice said over the past year Ofgem has tightened up its monitoring of new suppliers, but they haven't made any changes to the licensing process itself and it's time they addressed this.
Citizens Advice argue that Ofgem should ensure new entrants into the market should have four key things in place before being able to start offering energy to the public:
1. Considerable financial investment in staff and systems
2. A realistic business plan
3. Experienced staff
4. Clear evidence that the company understands energy is an essential service
Citizens Advice said that Future Energy ceasing trading was disappointing, but not surprising. A report in The Times claims that early estimates show Future Energy customers could be owed up to £250 each. The company is thought to have had "credit balances" of about £2.5 million from existing customers and £500,000 from past customers.
Future Energy's 10,000 customer base has been taken on by Green Star Energy. Ofgem said all customers will have their balances protected as part of the safety net process.
A spokesperson for the regulator said:
"Now Green Star Energy has been appointed they will work with the administrators of Future Energy Supply to work out the exact amount of credit balances, using more information from their billing and other systems."
Posted on February 15, 2018 at 11:37 AM