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British Gas to take on 35,500 customers from shuttered Neon Reef and Social Energy Supply

British Gas - whose parent company is Centrica - has now taken on over 500,000 customers through the SoLR mechanism in 2021.Image: Centrica.

British Gas - whose parent company is Centrica - has now taken on over 500,000 customers through the SoLR mechanism in 2021.Image: Centrica.

Ofgem has appointed British Gas as the supplier of last resort (SoLR) for Neon Reef Limited and Social Energy Supply Ltd, taking on approximately 35,500 domestic customers.

The two suppliers announced they were folding last week (16 November), as high power prices continue to squeeze the energy sector.

British Gas has now taken on over 500,000 customers through Ofgem’s SoLR process in 2021, including those from collapsed suppliers Simplicity Energy, PfP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, People’s Energy, Zebra Power Limited and Bluegreen Energy Services Limited.

Chris O'Shea, group chief executive of British Gas’ parent company Centrica said that it has taken actions in recent years to ensure it is a robust financial position, and “as a responsible energy supplier built on a sustainable model we are well hedged for the winter".

He added that the company would continue to do what it can to help stabilise and support the sector, working as part of industry efforts to drive regulatory reform where urgently needed.

Neon Reef and Social Energy are two of the latest suppliers to shutter as wholesale power prices remain high, having grown by over 250% this year. They followed Omni Energy, MA Energy, Zebra Power, Ampoweruk and Bluegreen Energy Services all collapsing this month.

Goto Energy, Pure Planet, Colorado Energy, Daligas ENSTROGA, Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy, Hub Energy, Green Network Energy, Simplicity Energy, Avro Energy, Utility Point, People’s Energy, PfP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy have all ceased to trade this year.

Yesterday (22 November), Bulb – the UK’s seventh largest supplier with 1.7 million customers – announced that it was going into special administration, pointing to the impact of the price cap alongside the high power prices which mean “suppliers provide energy at a significant loss".

Social Energy will continue to operate as a technology provider, and recently told Current± that closing its supply side was a “simple commercial decision” for the business, given power prices. The company operates domestic battery storage as a virtual power plant, and in September 2020 won the first ever fully domestic weekly Firm Frequency Response contract with National Grid ESO.

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