TONIK Energy has gone bust leaving 130,000 households across Britain without an energy supplier.
It’s the latest in a string of small providers that have ceased trading over the past 18months.
Regulator Ofgem said the energy supply to the group’s hundreds of thousands of customers will not be affected and prepayment meters can be topped up as normal.
The regulator is now working on appointing a new supplier to take over the accounts. This is likely to be announced in the next few weeks.
Once customers have been moved to the new supplier they will then be given the option to switch without being charged an early exit fee.
“Tonik Energy customers do not need to worry, as under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies are secure and domestic customers’ credit balances are protected,” said Ofgem director of retail Philippa Pickford.
Is it safe to switch to a small energy provider?
FED-UP with sky high energy prices and poor customer service from the Big Six energy firms? Then you could save a packet by switching to a smaller firm.
Research from Which? has found customers with smaller and medium sized firms like Utility Warehouse, Flow Energy and Octopus Energy are much happier than those with the major firms – and could save a whopping £333 a year by switching.
The biggest risk of choosing a small provider – like Our Power – is that it goes bust.
But remember that if the firm does go under you won’t be cut off, and Ofgem will try and get a new supplier in place as quickly as it can.
Once it has done this, the new firm will contact you – it doesn’t have to honour the deal you were on with defunct firm – but under Ofgem rules any credit you have on your account is protected.
If you’re unhappy with the new supplier’s offer you are free to shop around for a new deal and switch – you won’t have to pay any exit fees to leave.
“Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you and whilst we are doing this our advice is to “sit tight” and don’t switch.
“You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff.”
Tonik’s failure comes less than a week after it was identified as one of seven suppliers that had not paid a combined £34million that they owed to Ofgem.
In the past, companies that have missed their so-called renewables obligation payments have often struggled to continue trading.
How to save on your energy bills
SWITCHING energy providers can sound like hassle – but fortunately it’s pretty straight forward to change supplier – and save lots of cash.
Shop around – If you’re on an SVT deal you are likely throwing away more than £300 a year. Use a comparion site such as MoneySuperMarket.com, uSwitch or EnergyHelpline.com to see what deals are available to you.
The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals – meaning you’ll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.
2. Switch – When you’ve found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.
It helps to have the following information – which you can find on your bill – to hand to give the new supplier.
- Your postcode
- Name of your existing supplier
- Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
- An up-to-date meter reading
It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.
It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won’t be interrupted in that time.
Other providers named by Ofgem include Co-Operative Energy Limited, Flow Energy Limited, MA Energy Limited, Nabuh Energy Limited, Robin Hood Energy Limited and Symbio Energy Limited.
On its website, Tonik said: “Tonik Energy… is ceasing to trade. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is appointing a new supplier for its customers.
“Customers need not worry, their supplies are secure and domestic credit balances are protected.”
Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Many energy companies, particularly the smaller challenger brands, operate on thin profit margins.
“The Covid-19 lockdown has also resulted in many customers delaying or missing payments, leaving some suppliers without the cashflow to keep going day-to-day.”
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He added that customers should wait until a new supplier is appointed before finding a better deal with a new provider.
But he added: “While they’re waiting for this to happen, we would urge Tonik Energy customers to note down their meter reading now, and again when they are contacted by the new supplier, so they can ensure their bills are accurate.
“If you have been affected, run a price comparison to see if switching to another supplier will offer better value for money.”