Domestic supplier Toto Energy ceases to trade
The firm’s 134,000 domestic customers have been told not to worry by Ofgem.
Toto Energy, which supplies around 134,000 domestic customers, has ceased to trade, Ofgem said.
The regulator assured the firm’s customers that their energy supply would continue, prepayment meters could be topped up as normal and outstanding credit balances would be protected.
Ofgem will choose a new supplier to take on all affected customers, who will be contacted about a new tariff.
TOTO Energy has ceased trading.— ofgem (@ofgem) October 23, 2019
If you’re a customer, please don’t worry - you can rely on your energy supply as normal.
We will now switch you to a new supplier. More info on what happens next: https://t.co/tFlW0HwIWq#TOTOEnergy @WeAreTOTO pic.twitter.com/R8de7Pwsbz
Ofgem announced at the beginning of this month that Toto was one of four energy suppliers who had been given a month to pay £14.7 million owed in green taxes or face losing their licences.
Toto along with Robin Hood Energy, Gnergy and Delta Gas and Power failed to meet the original deadline of September 1 for renewable energy payments, which all suppliers must make.
Failure to make the payments is seen as a warning sign in the industry that a company may be struggling.
The regulator advised Toto customers against switching to another energy supplier until a new one has been appointed and they have been contacted in the coming weeks.
Customers should also take a meter reading ready to give to the new supplier.
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s director for future retail markets, said: “Toto Energy customers do not need to worry, as under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies are secure and customers’ credit balances are protected.
“Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you and whilst we’re doing this our advice is to sit tight and don’t switch.
“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 new tariff.”
The failure of Toto comes after more than a dozen energy suppliers have gone bust in the past two years.
Ofgem recently announced that gas and electricity suppliers could face independent checks on their customer service and financial strength.
Ofgem set out a raft of new rules designed to drive up customer service standards, lower the risk of suppliers going bust and strengthen the safety net in the event of failure.
The Energy Ombudsman said they had received more than 730 complaints about Toto Energy so far this year, almost as many as the 794 received during the whole of 2018.
Ombudsman chief executive Matthew Vickers said: “The collapse of Toto Energy means it’s unlikely we will be able to help consumers who had complained to us about the company and were awaiting either a decision on their case or some action from the company to put things right. In addition, as of today we can’t look at any new complaints about Toto.
“The proposals set out by Ofgem earlier this week contained lots of positives that will help to reduce the risk of supplier failures in future, but some customers with unresolved complaints are still going to be left without redress or remedy. We think this needs to be looked at.
“For customers who were previously with Solarplicity and were transferred to Toto before Solarplicity collapsed, this will have been a particularly confusing and frustrating experience.”