Thousands of former GNE customers still waiting to be transferred to EDF - four months after the supplier went bust
Thousands of former customers of the defunct gas and electricity supplier Green Network Energy (GNE) are still waiting for EDF Energy to set up their accounts – four months after it was appointed as their new supplier – and it's unclear when the problems will be resolved.
Energy regulator Ofgem appointed EDF in February to supply GNE's 360,000 household customers after the mid-size provider stopped trading at the end of January. But four months on, and EDF has admitted that 3% of GNE customers, which is around 10,800 people, are still waiting transferred. Some customers also say they're still waiting on final bills and credit refunds.
EDF said it is "dependent on various parties and processes" to complete the set-up of the remaining new accounts. EDF hasn't confirmed when these accounts will be up and running but its customer services team has told people via its official social media account that final bills are expected by the end of July and that it is 'experiencing delays' in receiving information from GNE to set-up new accounts.
You won't, however, pay any more on your bills than you did with GNE while you wait. What's more, all of these EDF tariffs are cheaper than almost all other deals on the market, so for most you're currently paying less than you would if you switched anyway.
Once your account is fully up and running, you can use our Cheap Energy Club to make sure EDF is still cheapest for you. Regulator Ofgem says it's best not to switch (or cancel your direct debit) if you've not been fully set up with EDF as it can slow down the transfer and cause a longer delay getting a refund of any credit owed.
'Still not fully up and running with EDF'
We've seen dozens of complaints from former GNE customers in recent weeks, asking what's going on. Here are just a few:
Separately, it's emerged that up to 2,000 former customers of Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy are still waiting for credit refunds more than six months after their accounts were transferred to Scottish Power - see Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy help below for more info.
You WON'T pay more while you're waiting to be transferred
If you're one of the thousands still waiting to be transferred, the good news is you won't pay more for your energy than you did with GNE in the meantime.
That's because former GNE customers were moved at the end of January to one of six new EDF tariffs (five standard direct debit tariffs, one prepay). Which tariff you're on depends on the rate you paid with GNE, but EDF says it "guarantees" all customers will see a price decrease versus their former tariff until 30 September 2021. EDF adds that if there is no decrease in bills, it will automatically apply a credit for the difference to your account.
What's more, our analysis shows that the tariffs customers have been moved to aren't just cheaper than GNE's - but four are cheaper than the market's cheapest deal, which is a variable tariff from a firm with decent customer service feedback. There is only one supplier offering a cheaper tariff but it's a variable deal from a tiddler firm with no service feedback. So for most, you're currently paying less than you would if you switched.
|Energy price cap
|EDF Welcome GNE Variable V1||£949|
|Market's cheapest deal (excluding a tiddler with no service feedback)||£930 (2)|
|EDF Welcome GNE Variable V2||£883|
|EDF Welcome GNE Variable V3||£871|
|EDF Welcome GNE Variable V4||£849|
|EDF Welcome GNE Variable V5||£797|
|Prices correct as of 7 June 2021. Based on typical dual-fuel use for direct debit tariffs. (1) Including £25 MSE dual-fuel cashback (where paid). (2) £845/yr is the market's cheapest tariff but it's from a tiddler supplier with no service feedback.|
There's no deadline for new suppliers to transfer customers and issue final bills and credit by
It's not just households waiting to be transferred to EDF that's the problem though - some former GNE customers who are now set-up with EDF say they're still missing final bills and £100s worth of built-up credit.
But while EDF says it will honour all credit balances, unfortunately there's no hard and fast deadline for when new suppliers must sort out these issues by, and energy regulator Ofgem told us the amount of time it can take to transfer customers and issue final bills and credit can "vary significantly".
That's because Ofgem says it depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the data held by the failing supplier, the administrator’s access to the failed supplier’s billing systems, and the duration of time it takes to agree opening and closing meter readings. It adds that given the size of GNE's customer-base, it may also take longer to transfer customers if the data held by GNE wasn't up-to-date.
How to complain about the delay
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to speed up the transfer process, but if you haven't heard from EDF at all and you've not initiated a switch to a new provider, it's worth contacting it for an update. Former GNE customers can text EDF on 07481341928, message it on WhatsApp on 07480 802 942 or call on 0333 009 6993.
If you switched before EDF became the 'supplier of last resort', contact GNE on 0800 520 02 02 and it will be able to advise you on the status of your final closing statement.
If you're unhappy with the delay or how EDF has handled your account, you can submit a formal complaint (though again, there's no guarantee this will speed things up). Here's how:
First raise a formal complaint. If you can't get in contact using the contact details above, or are still unhappy, you can raise a formal complaint directly with EDF or via the free Resolver tool.
If necessary, go to the Ombudsman. As a last resort, if you've already tried contacting EDF and it's been more than eight weeks since you filed your formal complaint (or you've received a deadlock letter), you can then take it to the Energy Ombudsman, which is an independent body that handles disputes between consumers and energy firms.
You can raise a complaint for free by filling in this online form. Just make sure you select EDF as the supplier you want to complain about and not GNE – the Ombudsman is no longer accepting complaints about GNE as it is in administration.
What does EDF say?
A spokesperson for EDF said: "When EDF was appointed 'supplier of last resort' for GNE we took on approximately 360,000 customers. We are working hard to transfer the remaining 3% of these accounts over to us as soon as we possibly can, however we are dependent on various parties and processes to get this completed.
"We appreciate this is taking some time, but this further work will ensure that the transfer of these customers runs as smoothly as possible, and that their accounts are setup correctly with nothing for them to do. We thank former GNE customers for their patience at this time."
Former Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy customers have now been moved to Scottish Power - but some are still waiting for credit refunds
In related news, Scottish Power took over failed suppliers Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy when they also both went under at the end of 2020.
Scottish Power says that all customers have now been successfully transferred, and 99% of all credit balances have been refunded. However, with around 200,000 customers combined moving from Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy to Scottish Power, that means as many as 2,000 people may be missing their credit balances more than six months after the big six supplier was appointed to take over.
If that’s you, the advice is the same as for former GNE customers above – you can raise a formal complaint directly with Scottish Power, or via the free Resolver tool. If your issue hasn’t been resolved within eight weeks of filing your formal complaint or you're unhappy with the response you do get, you can go to the free Energy Ombudsman.
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