British Gas takes on People’s Energy customers
Founders: David Pike and Karin Sode
People’s Energy, which was set up in Scotland to challenge the dominance of the big six suppliers by offering cheaper power, has seen its customers taken on by British Gas.
Industry regulator Ofgem has appointed British Gas to supply the 350,000 household and 1,000 business customers of the Edinburgh-based firm which collapsed last week.
The company, which was established by husband and wife David Pike and Karin Sode in 2017, employs 450 across the UK, including 200 in Shawfair south of Edinburgh and in Musselburgh.
The changeover comes as more of Britain’s smaller energy suppliers are expected to fail because soaring wholesale gas prices means they cannot deliver at the price promised to customers. The market is expecting Bulb to be among the next to collapse.
The UK government may offer emergency loans to energy companies to encourage them to take on the customers of failed firms, although Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has sought to calm the market by saying there is “no question of the lights going out” this winter. He described warnings about shortages as “alarmist”.
Ofgem reassured customers of the collapsed People’s Energy that their credit balances will be honoured.
For existing People’s Energy customers, energy supplies will continue as normal after they switched over to British Gas on 19 September.
Customers of People’s Energy will be contacted over the coming days about the changes. If customers wish to switch supplier they can shop around, but are advised to wait until the transfer has been completed. Customers will not be charged exit fees if they decide to switch to another supplier.
Neil Lawrence, Ofgem’s director of retail, said: “I am pleased to announce we have appointed British Gas as the new supplier for customers after People’s Energy entered insolvency.
“We understand that this news may be unsettling for customers, however they do not need to worry. Their energy supply will continue as normal, and all domestic customer credit balances held on their accounts will be protected by British Gas.
“Your energy supply will not be interrupted. British Gas will be in contact with customers next week with next steps. Once transferred to British Gas, customers can ask to be put onto another tariff, but should customers wish to switch, we advise waiting for the transfer from People’s Energy to be completed.”
British Gas will be in touch with customers with direct debits to explain how to set up their account. Customers are advised not to cancel their direct debits as British Gas will aim to transfer them.