British Gas has been appointed as Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) for collapsed company Together Energy, taking on its 176,000 domestic customers and one non-domestic.
It is the ninth failed supplier’s customer base to be absorbed by the energy giant, taking on around 700,000 customers since the beginning of 2021.
Together Energy – and its subsidiary Bristol Energy – became the first supplier to collapse in 2022 on 18 January, as gas prices and subsequently electricity prices remain at record highs. The strain of high wholesale power prices together with the level of the energy price cap led to 27 suppliers shuttering in 2021 and one being placed in special administration.
This included: Zog Energy, Orbit Energy, Entice Energy, Bulb, Social Energy Supply, Neon Reef, Omni Energy, MA Energy, Zebra Power, Ampoweruk, CNG Energy (electricity and gas), Bluegreen Energy Services, Goto Energy, Pure Planet, Colorado Energy, Daligas, ENSTROGA, Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy, Green Network Energy, Simplicity Energy, Avro Energy, Green Supplier, Utility Point, People’s Energy, PfP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy and Hub Energy.
All but Bulb had their customers absorbed through Ofgem’s SoLR mechanism, with more than four million placed with new suppliers. Bulb was placed into special administration, as it was deemed too large to be absorbed.
Additionally, the company renamed its new brand – British Gas Evolve – in response to the energy crisis. The company dropped the ‘Evolve’ after its research found that customers didn’t strongly connect to the digital-first brand, launched in October 2020.
Centrica – British Gas’ parent company – chief executive Chris O’Shea welcomed Together Energy’s customers.
“The actions we have taken over the past couple of years mean Centrica is in a robust financial position, and as a responsible energy supplier built on a sustainable model we are well hedged for the winter and beyond.
“We have now stepped in to help around 700,000 customers who have found themselves without a supplier over the past year, and we’ll continue to engage with the government and Ofgem to find ways to help stabilise and support the sector”
Calls from those in the energy sector, charities and MPs have been growing for the government and the regulator to take action to protect consumers from price rises, as more than six million face fuel stress when the price cap is reset in April.