Octopus Energy has been appointed as Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) for supplier UK Energy Incubator Hub and will take on its 3,000 customers.
The move follows the domestic energy supplier being served with a Final Order last week (7 July), in relation to “serious, persistent and recent compliance failings”.
Indeed the company – which operated under two brands, Northumbria Energy and Neo Energy – has been issued with three separate Provisional Orders due to these breaches so far this year. This includes one in June that banned the supplier from taking on new customers until changes to customer service failings were remedied.
Previously UK Energy Incubator Hub operated as Euston Energy, which was issued a final order by Ofgem for failing to become a Data Communications Company user. Along with four other suppliers – Daligas, Enstroga, Entice Energy Supply and Symbio Energy, all of which have since shuttered – Euston Energy was issued the order in March 2020 in response to the failings, following a consultation in January of that year.
Octopus Energy took over the company’s customers’ energy supply on 9 July, following a competitive process run by Ofgem to find a new supplier.
Octopus Energy has taken on customers from four failed suppliers, including Avro Energy, which with 500,000 customers represents the biggest SoLR customer migration seen in the UK.
In a statement, the company said it was delighted to take on UK Energy Incubator’s customers, and reassured them there would be no interruption or impact on their supply.
“Our responsibility is to ensure that UK Energy Incubator Hub’s customers are well looked after. There will be no interruption or impact to their energy supply. We are asking them to not cancel their direct debits and if they wish to switch to another supplier, wait to do so until the transfer is completed,” continued the statement.
UK Energy Incubator is the fourth supplier to shutter in 2022 – with Together Energy, Whoop Energy and Xcel Power Ltd closing in January and February – following on from 27 collapsing and Bulb being put into Special Administration in 2021.
Companies were caught between surging wholesale power prices on the back of gas market volatility and the price cap, which meant they couldn’t recoup the additional costs from their customers in the short term, last year.
In April, the price cap jumped 54% to account for these high wholesale costs, helping to slow the number of supplier failures by easing operating conditions for them. The price cap is predicted to increase by as much as 64% in October, as the gas market continues to be unstable, in particular following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.