Failed energy suppliers ‘could leave £172m bill for households’
Citizens Advice says energy firms should make regular payments of industry costs to prevent big debts being passed onto customers
Households could face a potential total bill of £172m from energy suppliers that have collapsed since the start of last year, according to calculations from Citizens Advice.
Citizens Advice said it wants to see action to “fix the protection gap” for customers who owe money to energy suppliers when they collapse.
Energy suppliers are obliged to pay various industry bills, including renewable energy generation, infrastructure and metering costs.
But Citizens Advice research, which analysed administrator reports for failed suppliers going back to January 2018, suggests that the bankrupt firms left behind £172m in unpaid industry bills in their wake.
The charity warned that customers across the UK could eventually end up footing those bills, with costs feeding through into their own energy accounts.
It said that in addition, there were “key protection gaps” for customers who were indebted to failed suppliers – which potentially left thousands of people at risk of aggressive debt collection practices.
Citizens Advice explained that when energy suppliers fail, Ofgem’s Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process appoints a new supplier for customers to ensure a continued energy supply, while the old supplier is taken over by administrators.