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Extra Energy

Extra Energy was an independent UK energy supplier that went bust in November 2018. The collapse of the energy firm left around 108,000 customers without an energy deal until Ofgem, the energy regulator, appointed Scottish power. This ensured customers were never left without gas and electricity and were automatically switched to a Scottish Power deal.

Why did Extra Energy go bust?

Extra Energy blamed its collapse on the introduction of the energy price cap - legislation introduced by the government and managed by Ofgem to ensure there's a limit on the amount supplier can charge for the standard variable rate tariffs.

Extra Energy chief executive Nick Read said: "We have tried to restructure, merge and reduce costs in order to ensure the viability of our UK business."

He added: "However, in light of the substantial UK regulatory change with the introduction of the price cap, we see no long term investment opportunity in the UK market."

Extra Energy argued that the government's introduction of a price cap on energy bills made the market unviable, and while a number of other energy suppliers have struggled with the cap, poor customer service was also a factor in the firm's collapse.

Although Extra Energy was a mainstay in consumer 'best buy' tables from the moment it launched, it had issues with customer service from the outset. In the first three months of 2016 alone, it was the subject of 1,682 complaints per 100,000 customers, according to figures from Citizens Advice, which said this was "the highest complaints ratio ever recorded" in the five years since it began compiling league tables.

And Ofgem opened 1,160 complaints about Extra Energy in the 12 months leading up to the company going bust.

But don't let this deter you from switching to a smaller supplier, as many are well run and offer cheaper rates and better customer service levels than the big six energy suppliers, so it pays to do a bit of research before you switch.

What happened when Economy Energy went bust?

When an energy supplier goes bust, Ofgem puts offers its customer base to other energy suppliers, who must then bid to win the contracts - it's not all about money though, and any interested suppliers must prove they can meet the added demand and financial burden.

Once the bids are in, Ofgem chooses its preferred supplier, which is known as a supplier of last resort (SoLR).

This process is in place as part of the Ofgem Safety Net, which ensures households aren't left without gas and electricity in the event of their supplier going bust.

When Extra Energy collapsed, its existing customer contracts were transferred to Scottish Power as soon as it was appointed as the SoLR.

You can find out more here

What to do if your energy supplier goes bust

If your energy supplier goes bust, don't panic - Ofgem's safety net will ensure you're not left without power. The only thing you need to do is take a meter reading and wait for the regulator to appoint your SoLR.

Once an SoLR has been appointed it will be in touch to tell you what happens next. When this happens, it's time to compare energy deals and switch as soon as possible, as it's likely the SoLR will put you on its standard rate tariff or onto deemed rates, both of which will be among its most expensive price plans.

It's important to avoid switching switching suppliers until your SoLR has been appointed, to avoid any potential complications, but once a new supplier is in place you should make the change as soon as possible.

You won't be tied into a deal with your SoLR, which means you can switch at any time without getting hit by a penalty charge, even if the tariff you had with your previous supplier included an early exit fee.

If you were in credit with your energy supplier when it went bust, the SoLR appointed by Ofgem should pay back any money owed to you, which could be in the form of credit on your new account.

If you were in debt when your supplier went bust, you'll either have to pay this debt to the new supplier, or else have to pay it back to your old supplier through the administrator.

If you have a prepayment energy meter, you'll also be fully covered by the Ofgem safety net. If you've got credit on your key, card or token, you'll be able to use it on your new account. If you need more credit, contact your new supplier to find out what you need to do, and if you'll need any additional equipment.

How to switch energy supplier

Switching energy suppliers is simple with The Energy Shop - simply pop your postcode in the box on the right of the page to get started.

It helps if you have a copy of your latest energy bill to hand when switching, as we need to take some details on your current energy deal and usage.

Once we have this information, we'll then show you a list of the best energy deals currently available.

All you then need to do is choose the one you like best, and we'll take care of the rest of the switch - you'll be with your new supplier within 21 days, and there'll be no disruption to your supply.

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