Our Power went bust - what next for customers?
Our Power, which was established in 2016 with backing from the Scottish government, was the first UK energy supplier to operate on a non-profit basis. It went bust at the beginning of 2019.
On this page, we’re going to take you through what Our Power’s failure means for its customers and hopefully address any queries that follow.
Who took over Our Power?
Effective from the 31st of January 2019, all 38,000 Our Power energy customers were switched over to Utilita, which was chosen by Ofgem as the best-placed provider to do so.
My old Our Power energy tariff
In this section, we’ll take you through what effect the switch from Our Power to Utilita has had on your supply and the tariff you’re on.
Will my contract change with Utilita?
All former Our Power customers were put onto Utilita’s standard variable tariff and then contacted by their new provider with personalised information about their new tariff. Given that the switch happened over a year ago, if you haven’t taken any action you’re likely to be on the Standard Variable tariff.
You can check whether you’re now paying more in the email you received from Utilita or by calling the support team on 03300 583 392 to enquire.
If you’re not happy with the tariff you were put onto, don’t worry, all Our Power customers were switched onto a tariff which has no exit fee. You’re entirely free to switch to another Utilita tariff or to another provider if you’d like to.
Will my supply have been affected?
No, your supply should not have been affected by the switch. Utilita was appointed by Ofgem partly because it guaranteed a seamless transition process, so if you’ve experienced any interruption or problem with your supply do contact Utilita’s support team to let them know.
Accounts in debt or credit with Our Power
In this section, we’ll go over how you’ll be affected if there were any financial knots not tied up between yourself and Our Power when it went bust.
I’m owed credit by Our Power - will I get it back?
Yes. Utilita agreed to honour credit balances for Our Power customers as a condition of taking over its customers, and former Our Power customers who are owed money are included in this.
Utilita will have reviewed any credit attached to your Our Power account and contacted you with information and instructions relating to it following the switch. Unbilled charges from Our Power were taken into consideration and will have been deducted from this balance, so it may be less than you remember. It was calculated by Our Power’s administrators and not Utilita.
The above will have occurred within a few weeks of Utilita taking over your account and you will have been contacted by email. If you’ve not received this email or can’t find the details anywhere, contact Utilita on 03300 583 392 to enquire about it.
I’m a previous Our Power customer who was owed credit - will I get it back?
Yes, Utilita agreed to honour credit balances applied to Our Power customers past and present, so you would have received the email mentioned above in the same way a new Utilita customer would have.
Again, if you didn’t receive an email from Utilita detailing the credit you’re owed by them, get in contact with them. Bear in mind that any unbilled charges will have come out of this credit, so it may be less than you remember - full details of it can be provided to you by Utilita.
I owed Our Power money - will I have to pay it back?
Yes, just as Utilita inherited Our Power’s debts in terms of customer credit balance, it also inherited debts owed by customers past and present. Either Our Power’s administrators or someone from Utilita should have been in contact with you to discuss repayment.
In this section, we’ll discuss how Our Power going bust affected payments you were making to the company.
What happened with prepayment meter customers?
Customers on prepayment tariffs will have been (and are) able to continue topping up their meters as before, only following the switch of provider they are now being supplied by Utilita and not Our Power. Smart prepayment customers were still able to top up via Our Power’s Pay Online section for a time after the switch but can no longer do this.
If you’re having issues with your traditional prepayment meter, you’ll have to call Utilita on 03300 583 392, its line dedicated to former Our Power customers’ issues.
Should I have cancelled my direct debit?
Ofgem’s advice was not to cancel your direct debit until Utilita contacted you, which it should have done within a couple of weeks of the switch at the latest. If you were not contacted, give Utilita a call immediately to find out what happened with your payments.
I did cancel my direct debit - do I need to do anything?
Don’t worry if you did cancel your payments, Utilita should have been in contact with you to resolve any issues with payments. You should have received help setting up a new account by now and told what happened with any outstanding credit you had with Our Power.
If you weren’t contacted and anything relating to your payments or outstanding credit is still unclear, give Utilita a call on 03300 583 392 to find out directly from them.
Warm home discount customers
If you received a letter from the government stating that you were to receive the Warm Home Discount then you will get it by the 31st of March and you need not take further action. Those who were due to receive a core group rebate from Our Power last year will have received it from Utilita instead.
If you think you should have received the Core Group rebate but didn’t, or you got a letter from the government asking you to contact them about it, then call the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214. You will have had to contact them by the end of February to be eligible for this year.
Unresolved complaints and contact details
In this section, we’ll take you through what to do about any unresolved issues you may have with Our Power and who your point of contact is now.
I have an unresolved complaint with Our Power - will Utilita take it on?
Not necessarily. Utilita is not obliged to take on customer complaints relating to Our Power’s service. If, however, you think your complaint is relevant to Utilita or that its team can help you in some way with it, you can discuss it with its support team when you’re contacted about the switch.
If your complaint was with the energy ombudsman, you will be contacted by this entity about the next steps in terms of resolving your complaint, and not Our Power or Utilita.
Other account inquiries
Utilita should have contacted Our Power customers with details about their new contract and tariff. If you have any inquiries relating to your Our Power account that are not answered on this page, you should contact Utilita’s team on 0330 058 3392 and they should be able to give you an answer.
Further help and advice
If your query isn’t answered on this page and Utilita wasn’t unable to give you a satisfactory answer, your best bet for concerns about supply or for complaints is to get in touch with Citizens Advice for guidance and support.
You can reach the Citizens Advice team on 03454 040 506 or via its website.