Customers of gas and electricity provider Iresa, which ceased trading last week, are to be taken on by Octopus Energy.
Regulator Ofgem has named renewable energy firm Octopus Energy, which currently has around 250,000 customers, to supply Iresa customers from Wednesday 1 August, after Iresa ceased trading last Friday. Octopus plans to contact all 90,000 Iresa account holders over the next few weeks.
Here are the key need-to-knows:
- Your energy supply will continue as normal.
- You electricity will be transferred over at 00:01 and gas at 05:01 on Wednesday 1 August.
- You’ll moved onto Flexible Octopus – the supplier’s cheapest tariff, with no exit fees if you want to switch away.
- Ofgem says the supplier will contact you by Tuesday 14 August with tariff information and new contract details.
- All outstanding credit balances for current and past Iresa customers will be honoured.
Octopus Energy says you shouldn’t switch just yet – wait until you’re fully transferred to it. As soon as this happens, you can do a full market comparison on our free Cheap Energy Club to make sure you’re on the best deal.
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I’m an Iresa customer what should I do?
You don’t need to do anything at the moment. You’ll be moved over automatically and supplied by Octopus Energy from Wednesday 1 August – they’ll be no interruption to your gas and electricity supply.
Octopus Energy’s advice is to sit tight for now and take a meter reading. The supplier has told us it plans to provide Iresa customers with an update in around seven days, and is aiming to have accounts set up for these customers in around two weeks.
If you have any questions you can check Octopus Energy’s information page or Ofgem’s FAQs. For urgent queries you can use Octopus Energy’s dedicated number for Iresa customers – 0808 178 1551 – or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to switch away, it may be better to wait until your account is fully set up – as the switch may encounter problems if you try before Octopus has all the information on Iresa’s customers moved onto its systems.
Who are Octopus Energy?
Octopus Energy is a renewable supplier launched back in April 2016. It’s grown quickly over the last two years, attracting around 250,000 customers since it launched.
It’s performed strongly in our customer service polls since it launched – and even came joint top for service in our latest poll, with 93% rating it ‘great’ and 3% ‘poor’ (from 245 votes).
It’s backed by Octopus Investments, an investor in renewable energy, healthcare, property and small businesses.
Will I keep my tariff?
No. In this case, everyone will be moved on to Octopuss cheapest tariff.
This is its standard tariff, known as Flexible Octopus, costing a typical £955/year. It’s a variable tariff, so there’s no exit fees if you do want to switch supplier once you’ve been moved over to Octopus.
In comparison, the current cheapest tariff on the market is £853/year from small supplier Eversmart Energy, while the best of the big six is £959/year.
What if I’ve already cancelled my direct debit will I still move to Octopus Energy?
Ofgem’s advice after Iresa went bust last Friday was that you’re free to cancel your direct debit with it if you wanted to. If you did cancel, Octopus will be in touch to reinstate your direct debit over the next few weeks. If you didn’t cancel it, your direct debit will be transferred over to Octopus Energy.
My account’s in credit will I get my money back?
Octopus Energy says it will honour all outstanding credit balances, both for current customers and for past customers still owed money.
If you’re a current customer, any credit your were owed will be added to your account – which you can either keep there to offset future energy use, or you can request a refund. Again, Octopus Energy says this may take a while as it sorts through the information from Iresa.
You’ll be contacted by Octopus Energy over the next few weeks with more information about your tariff and current credit balance.
If you’re owed compensation – so for example, you’ve been awarded money by the Ombudsman for poor service by Iresa – Octopus Energy won’t pay this. Ofgem say you’ll need to contact Iresa’s administrators. Once this information is available, you’ll find it in the Further help and advice section in Ofgem’s FAQs.
I’ve switched away from Iresa will I get my credit balance back?
If you’ve switched away from Iresa and are in credit with it, you’ll have what’s called a ‘closed account balance’ Octopus Energy has confirmed it will refund these.
I’m in the process of switching away from Iresa will my switch still go through?
Ofgem has said that any switches in progress at the time the supplier went bust will continue to go through as normal – there’s nothing you need to do.
If you want to switch away now, it may be better to sit tight – Octopus has said switches will be more likely to encounter problems if you decide to move before it’s sorted through all the customer info from Iresa and set it up on their systems.
What if my Iresa account is in debt do I still need to pay?
Debit balances are expected to stay with Iresa, so you’ll likely be contacted by the administrators for the company to pay back what you owe – but you will have to clear any debt you had. Ofgem is advising you contact Citizen’s Advice if you have any questions on your debt.
You won’t pay any debt to Octopus Energy – you’ll essentially be starting a new account from scratch with the supplier.
So should I stay with Octopus Energy?
It’s up to you to work out whether or not you can get a better deal elsewhere our Cheap Energy Club can help on that front.
Iresa’s had very cheap tariffs – in fact, we’ve longed warned that its prices looked unsustainable – so it’s likely that you’ll pay more with Octopus.
Its last available tariff cost a typical £860/year – while in previous years it had often been the cheapest on the market, sometimes by a considerable amount.
In comparison, Octopus Energy came joint top for customer service in our latest poll back in May.
What does Octopus Energy say?
Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy, said: “We’re delighted Ofgem have asked us to fix the mess that Iresa have created. We’ve watched this debacle unfold for months and customers have suffered.
“It will take us a little time to work through all the issues, but we’re confident we’ll get it sorted and ask customers to bear with us. We’ll have an Official Information page we’ll keep updated at www.octopus.energy/iresa.”
What does Ofgem say?
Rob Salter-Church, Ofgems interim executive director for consumers and competition, said: “We are pleased to secure a deal with Octopus Energy, where Iresa customers will be offered a competitive tariff for their energy. Their credit balances will be honoured and their energy supply will continue as normal.
“Our advice for customers of Iresa is to wait until Octopus Energy contacts you. They will give you more information about the tariff you are on, and about your credit balance if you have one. Then you can shop around for a better deal if you wish to.”