Milton Keynes-based Simplicity Energy company collapses, affecting tens of thousands of customers

Customers have been urged not to worry after the collapse of two energy companies, one of them based in MK.
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Simplicity Energy, based in Avebury Boulevard at Central Milton Keynes, has ceased trading after falling into credit default, which meant they did not have enough credit to buy the gas and electricity needed to supply customers.

The firm, which had been offering some of the cheapest gas and electricity deals in recent months, supplied energy to around 50,000 households all over the country.

At the same time Croydon-based Green Network Energy, which had about 360,000 customers, has also collapsed.

MK-based Simplicity Energy promised customers 'no hassle'MK-based Simplicity Energy promised customers 'no hassle'
MK-based Simplicity Energy promised customers 'no hassle'

Ofgem, the government regulator for gas and electricity markets in Great Britain, has moved quickly to appoint new firms to take over the supplies - and they have moved quickly to reassure customers.

British Gas Evolve will take over Simplicity customers, while EDF Energy is the new supplier for customers of Green Network Energy.

The MoneySavingExpert website, set up by consumer and money saving expert Martin Lewis, said: "If you were with Simplicity Energy, your gas or electricity supply will not be cut off and is already being provided by British Gas Evolve, and any credit you have will be protected.

"British Gas Evolve is in the process of getting in touch with all those affected."

Customers need not worry, say expertsCustomers need not worry, say experts
Customers need not worry, say experts

The transfer of electricity and gas supplies should be smooth, says British Gas Evolve.

Their managing director Peter Simon said: "We welcome Simplicity Energy customers and will do everything we can to ensure their switch is smooth. We’ll be offering them a bespoke market competitive tariff and they will be supplied with 100 per cent green electricity.

"With British Gas Evolve, our aim is to offer residential customers a low cost and reliable service from a trusted provider. We have taken what we know works from disrupter brands and combined it with our vast experience in the energy market to create a new customer offer that we think is well suited to the Simplicity Energy customers."

What happens next?

A British Gas Evolve spokesman said: "We'll send out your Welcome Pack with everything you need to know, including details of your new tariff. This should arrive in two-three weeks so look out for it in your inbox or in the post. It’s a good idea to take a meter read now if you can, as we’ll ask for one once we set up your account.

"It’s a competitively priced tariff with no exit fees which means you can switch later if it’s not quite right for you. You’ll be able to switch as soon as we've fully set up your account."

An EDF Energy spokesman said: "It'll take some time for Green Network Energy to send over your details. Once this happens we'll send out your welcome pack with all the information you need in it.

"We guarantee all customers will see a price decrease versus their current tariff until at least 30 September, 2021."

Switching tariffs

Ofgem recommends customers do not switch tariffs yet, until the new supplier has confirmed the transfer is complete.

However, the MoneySavingExpert website recommends customers shop around once the transfer is complete, as, former Simplicity customers particularly, are likely to be put on a 'deemed' or default tariff, which "tend to be pricey".

Regarding transfers in progress, it says "the switch should continue as normal – there's nothing you need to do".

Customers in credit

Ofgem regulations protect domestic customer credit balances.

EDF said it will honour any credit balances of former Green Network Energy customers and British Gas Evolve said "any valid Simplicity credit balances will be moved over to your new account".

Regarding any payments owed to the collapsed companies, both British Gas Evolve and EDF said they were working with administrators to establish how the process will work and then will be in touch with customers.

EDF also moved to reassure customers eligible for a 'warm home discount', saying: "The great news is if you've successfully applied for the scheme with Green Network Energy, we'll be taking these on so you won't miss out on your payment.