Pure Planet and Colorado Energy cease trading – here's what it means for your gas and electricity
Pure Planet and Colorado Energy, which have about 250,000 customers combined, have become the latest energy providers to cease trading – making a total of 11 suppliers to go bust in the last six weeks. If you're a customer of these firms, your energy supply will continue and credit balances are protected. And while it's likely you'll pay more now, there are no savings to be had by switching due to the dire state of the market.
Update 5pm Monday 18 October: Ofgem has appointed Shell Energy to take on the customers of Pure Planet, Colorado Energy and Daligas (a small, gas-only supplier with 9,000 customers that ceased trading a day after Pure Planet and Colorado Energy). We're chasing tariff info, but it's highly likely you'll be moved to a tariff that follows the price cap – and there is nothing meaningfully cheaper than this that you can switch to right now.
Shell Energy will be in touch in the coming days about your new tariff.
Households supplied by Pure Planet (235,000 customers) and Colorado Energy (15,000 customers) will be transferred to a yet-to-be-announced new supplier. In the meantime, your supply will continue as normal and energy regulator Ofgem says any credit balances will be protected.
Ofgem will now start the process of choosing new suppliers to take on the firms' customers. Once it appoints these new suppliers, you'll be contacted about transferring your account over, and be told what happens next. Once your account is transferred, you are free to switch away, though with prices at record highs right now due to unprecedented wholesale costs (the price energy providers pay for gas and electricity), it's unlikely you'll save by switching. But you can use our free Cheap Energy Club to check.
The news follows the failure of PFP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, Utility Point, People's Energy, Avro Energy, Green Supplier Limited, Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy and Enstroga, which have all ceased trading since the start of September. We've analysis of the new deals customers of the failed firms are being moved on to in our Energy firm gone bust? How your new deal compares MSE News story – we'll update this once we know who the new suppliers for Pure Planet and Colorado Energy customers are. In total, about two million households have been affected by supplier failures in the last six weeks, with more tipped to follow in what is an extreme time for the energy market.
See our latest weekly email for MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis's energy bills crisis Q&A.
A new provider will be appointed to take over your supply – sit tight and wait for it to contact you
If you're a customer of one of these firms:
- You can't save by switching now anyway – but even if you could, you shouldn't. While possible, Ofgem says you should wait until you've been contacted by the new supplier in the coming weeks, as you could have issues with your switch otherwise.
- Do take a meter reading. It'll be useful to have it ready for when your new supplier contacts you. You should do this whether you're a credit meter or prepayment customer.
- Download your energy bills / screenshot credit amounts. When a firm goes bust, websites can go offline, so head to the firm's website or app as soon as possible and grab the info now, so you have a record of it.
- When a new supplier's appointed, you'll be moved to a new deal – which will almost certainly cost more. Ofgem says it's likely your current deal will end and you'll be moved to a special 'deemed' contract (a tariff you won't have chosen). These tend to be at the price cap, so it's likely your bills will go up. However, there are no deals cheaper than this for new customers right now, so you are unlikely to save by switching. While this may feel frustrating, remember if you'd never switched, this is the tariff you would have been on anyway, and at least up until now you've been on a far cheaper rate than is available – so overall you've gained, not lost.
Energy credit is protected even if you left the company recently – so you won't lose any money you're owed
You may be owed money by Pure Planet or Colorado Energy if your account had built up credit. In this scenario, the supplier Ofgem appoints will pay you back any money you're owed – this applies even if you'd already started to switch away before the firm went under. Here, the Ofgem-appointed supplier should get in touch to arrange a refund – even for those who won't have been switched to it – but this can take a while.
If you owe money, you will likely still have to pay it. Payments will either go to the bust supplier, its administrator or to the new supplier. The new supplier will let you know how this works once it has taken over.
If you are in the process of switching, your switch will still go through
If you've already started to switch away from Pure Planet or Colorado Energy, you will continue to be moved to the new supplier you have chosen. You should not need to do anything. Your direct debit to your current supplier should be cancelled automatically, but check anyway, and if not, cancel it manually after your switch completes. Any outstanding credit will be paid to you by the supplier Ofgem appoints – see above for more.
If you're in the process of switching to one of the failed suppliers, the switch should go through as planned, although you will then be automatically switched to the new supplier Ofgem appoints.
You don't need to cancel your direct debit, but it's fine if you already have
There's no immediate need to cancel your direct debit. Ofgem says your new supplier will contact you soon to explain how it will take on your account, including any direct debit arrangements.
Ofgem says you can cancel your direct debit before the new supplier contacts you if you want to though. If you've already cancelled it, there's no need to reinstate it, and your new supplier will explain what to do once it gets in touch with you.
What does Ofgem say?
Ofgem director of retail Neil Lawrence said: "Ofgem's number one priority is to protect customers. We know this is a worrying time for many people and news of a supplier going out of business can be unsettling.
"I want to reassure affected customers that they do not need to worry – under our safety net we'll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you have credit on your account, the funds you have paid in are protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.
"Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you, and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime. You can 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 tariff.
"Any customer concerned about paying their energy bill should contact their supplier to access the range of support that is available."