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Preston energy firm GB Energy Supply stops trading

Posted on - 26th November, 2016 - 10:06pm | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Business, News
GB Energy Supply won't be piping gas to anymore hobs Pic: Jiva

GB Energy Supply won’t be piping gas to anymore hobs Pic: Jiva

A Preston-based energy firm has gone out of business.

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GB Energy Supply, which has 160,000 customers across the UK, blames recent price increases for their downfall.

A statement from managing director Luke Watson on the firm’s website said: “It is with regret that we are informing you that GB Energy Supply is no longer trading and therefore you will be unable to access our website at this time.

“Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to allow us to access the best possible wholesale prices, means that the position of the business has become untenable and as such we will now be entering a process overseen by Ofgem to move you to a new supplier.

“Customers will be contacted soon by their new supplier with more information on how this process will affect them.”

Read more: GB Energy Supply had been expanding to new offices

Energy regulator Ofgem has said customers will continue to be supplied with energy despite GB Energy going under.

Citizens Advice’s director of energy Victoria MacGregor said customers should not panic.

She said: “This shouldn’t affect their gas and electricity supply so they’ll still be able to heat and light their home as normal.

“The energy regulator Ofgem is finding a new supplier for GB Energy Supply customers. The new supplier will contact customers in due course.”

Rachel Fletcher Ofgem’s Senior Partner for Consumers and Competition said: “In any competitive market companies will fail, this is why we have procedures in place to ensure customers’ energy supplies are always secure.

“If you are a customer of GB Energy Supply there is no need to worry as we will ensure your energy supplies are safe. Ofgem are actively working with the industry to ensure your transition to a new supplier is as smooth as possible. While this process is underway our advice is not to do anything as you can continue to rely on your energy supply as normal.”

Read more: Boars Head in Barton to become flats

MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis also commented on the firm’s closure.

He said: “I’ve expected something this to happen at some point (not with GB specifically). The government push to have more and more smaller suppliers has upped the risk of companies not being able to cope.

“We’ve already seen some small suppliers having substantial customer service issues after taking on more customers than they can, but it was always possible we’d see solvency problems at some point. The recent huge rise in wholesale prices and the pound’s weakness have likely exacerbated that.

“Thankfully, a few weeks ago Ofgem clarified and strengthened the energy insolvency rules – with its ‘safety net’ – something we’ve been lobbying about for a long time.”

A rather unfortunate Google Streetview of the GB Energy Supply offices

A rather unfortunate Google Streetview of the GB Energy Supply offices

The firm trades from just off the A6 at Barton. It previously traded as Altitude Energy Supply from 2013 to 2014.

Accounts for GB Energy Supply showed it made a loss of £630,018 during 2015. It employed around 13 people.

Where can I get more information?

If you’re affected then Ofgem has clear information about what happens when an energy provider goes into administration. You can also use Energy Helpline to compare energy provider tariffs.

Did you work for GB Energy Supply? Are you a customer? Let us know in the comments below

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