Extra Energy ceases trading – here's what you need to know
Extra Energy, a small supplier with about 108,000 domestic customers, has ceased trading – but if you're a customer your supply will continue as normal.
The energy regulator Ofgem will choose a new supplier to take on Extra Energy's customers soon, and this supplier will contact these customers shortly after being appointed. Ofgem's advice is to sit tight and don't try to switch during this period.
Your energy supply will continue as normal, and if you have an outstanding credit balance this will also be protected, and you'll get your money back.
Extra Energy is the fifth domestic supplier to cease trading so far this year – with the high-profile collapse of Iresa Energy, with 90,000 customers, back in July. We also saw regional supplier, Future Energy, which had around 10,000 customers, go in January, along with Usio Energy, which had 7,000 customers, and Gen4U, which had 500 customers.
I'm an Extra Energy customer – what should I do?
If you're an Extra Energy customer, Ofgem's advice is:
- Do not switch to another energy supplier.
- Take a meter reading, ready for when your new supplier contacts you.
Ofgem says this will make the process of transferring customers over to the chosen supplier, and paying back any outstanding credit balances, as smooth as possible.
More information will follow from your new supplier in the coming days.
If you need any further support, Extra Energy has advised customers to contact Ofgem – the regulator has a comprehensive set of FAQs here – or call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.
Will I keep my tariff – and will my bills go up?
Ofgem says that your current contract – whether you're on a fixed or variable tariff – will end when you join the new supplier, and you'll be placed on what's known as a 'deemed' tariff. These are often more expensive.
However, in the past we've seen some suppliers honour existing tariffs when taking over from a supplier that's ceased trading – though not always.
Once the new supplier contacts you, check if the deal you are being offered is the cheapest available to you. You won't be charged exit fees if you decide to switch.
You can then use our Cheap Energy Club to find the cheapest tariff.
I was in credit with Extra Energy – how do I get this back?
Ofgem says that your new supplier will pay back any outstanding credit you may have.
Once the regulator has appointed the new supplier, you will be contacted to explain how this will work. Ofgem says you should take a meter reading and a note of your balance, and wait for the new supplier to get in touch.
If you've switched or you're in the process of switching away from Extra Energy, any remaining credit is protected under Ofgem's safety net.
I'm paying back debt to Extra Energy. Will I pay this to the new supplier instead?
This is unclear at the moment. It depends on whether the new supplier arranges to take on debts owed to Extra Energy. If not, you may still have to continue to pay it back to Extra Energy or the administrator appointed to run what remains of the company. Either way, you will have to pay what you owe.
Once a new supplier is appointed by Ofgem, it will explain how things will work in practice.
Should I cancel my direct debit with Extra Energy?
The new supplier should be able to automatically move your direct debit over once it's appointed – though Ofgem says you're free to stop this and cancel your direct debit before the new supplier contacts you if you want to.
When the new supplier does contact you, it will explain how it'll take on your account, including direct debit arrangements.
I'm already in the process of switching from Extra Energy. Will this still go through?
If you have a switch in progress, you'll continue to be moved to the new supplier of your choice.
If you're in the process of switching to Extra Energy, Ofgem says it should go through as planned and you'll be moved over to the supplier Ofgem chooses to take over.
What does Ofgem say?
Ofgem's interim director for future retail markets Philippa Pickford said: "If you are an Extra Energy customer, under our safety net, we will make sure your energy supplies are secure. We will also ensure that domestic customers' credit balances are protected.
"Ofgem will now choose a new supplier and ensure you get the best deal possible.
"Whilst we're doing this our advice is to 'sit tight' and don't switch. You can continue to rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier who will then get in touch about your new tariff."
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