Ovo Energy to take on Spark Energy's 290,000 customers
Ovo Energy has been appointed by the energy regulator to take on Spark Energy's 290,000 domestic customers, after Spark stopped trading last week.
Ovo is also taking over the Spark Energy brand and operating company, so customers will continue to be billed by Spark and deal with Spark's customer service staff. Energy supplies will continue as normal.
Last week, Spark Energy became the sixth domestic supplier to collapse this year. A notice on the Spark Energy website blamed "increasingly tough trading conditions".
I'm a Spark Energy customer – what happens now?
If you're a Spark Energy customer, you'll be contacted over the coming days about the change. There'll be no interruption to your energy supply – and you'll also stay on the same tariff that you're on now.
That means if you're on a fixed tariff, the rate you pay will be honoured until the end of the fixed period. You'll also have the option of leaving penalty-free, even if there was originally an exit fee attached to your fix.
Your energy will now be provided under Ovo Energy's supply licence, but materially speaking you won't notice this change – it's still the same gas and electricity.
Ofgem says you'll be contacted in the next few days, at which point you can switch away from Spark Energy. You can use our free Cheap Energy Club to do a full market comparison and see if you can save by switching. You won't be charged exit fees if you decide to switch to another supplier.
To be safe, it's worth taking a meter reading in the next couple of days, just in case you later have a billing dispute. If you need any further support, Ofgem has a comprehensive set of FAQs.
I'm in credit with Spark Energy – will I get it back?
Yes, all credit balances will be honoured. You can continue to use this to offset future energy use, or request a refund.
If you'd left Spark Energy prior to it stopping trading and are owed credit, this will also be honoured, and you will be contacted directly about the refund.
What if I owed Spark Energy money?
If you're a current or former customer who owes money or are in debt to Spark Energy, you should wait to hear from its administrators or Spark Energy itself.
What if I've cancelled my direct debit to Spark Energy?
Ofgem says customers with direct debits should not cancel their arrangement.
If you have done this though, Ofgem says there's no need to panic – you'll be contacted soon to explain how to set a new one up.
What if I'm a prepay customer?
The FAQs posted on Spark Energy's website say prepay customers should continue to top up as normal – your supply won't be interrupted.
What if I was switching to/from Spark Energy?
If you were in the process of switching away from Spark Energy at the point it stopped trading, the switch should continue as normal.
If you were in the middle of a switch to Spark Energy when it stopped trading, this will still go ahead – you'll be moved onto the tariff you planned to switch to.
What does Ofgem say?
Ofgem's executive director for consumers and markets Mary Starks said: "I am pleased we have appointed Ovo Energy, and that Spark Energy's customers will be offered the same tariffs they are already on. Their credit balances will be honoured and their energy supply will continue as normal.
"Ovo Energy, under the Spark Energy brand, will be in contact with customers over the coming days with further information. Once the transfer has been completed, customers can shop around for a better deal if they wish to."