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13 Aug 2019

Worst energy supplier in Which? survey, Solarplicity, stops trading

Solarplicity finished bottom in the latest Which? ranking of energy companies, with customers complaining of poor customer service. Now it has stopped trading, just days after many of its customers were transferred to Toto Energy.

Solarplicity currently has around 7,500 customers, energy regulator Ofgem said, as it announced that it would start looking for another supplier to take them on.

It had more customers until last week when it announced that the 'bulk' were being transferred to Toto Energy.

Solarplicity has been under scrutiny for a while, with Ofgem investigating both its customer service practices and non-payment of the solar feed-in tariff. It was banned from taking on customers earlier this year while it resolved problems.

Update 16/08/19: EDF Energy has been chosen to take on Solarplicity's customers.

Know your rights if your energy supplier stops trading.

Solarplicity customers: what you need to know

If you're among Solarplicity's remaining 7,500 customers, your gas and electricity supply will continue as normal. Pay-as-you-go customers can continue to top up as before.

If you're in credit to Solarplicity, your money will be honoured by the new supplier, once appointed.

If you're in debt, you will still need to pay the amount owed to Solarplicity or its administrators.

For the moment, take a meter reading and wait until Ofgem chooses a new supplier for you. When suppliers have gone bust in the past, this has taken only a few days. We'll update this story when we know more. The new supplier will also contact you directly.

Update 16/08/19: EDF Energy has been announced as the replacement supplier for Solarplicity customers.

Don't switch at the moment, as this can make it trickier to transfer you to the new supplier and repay any outstanding credit.

Solarplicity's poor customer ratings

Each year, we survey thousands of energy customers to find the best and worst energy firms. Then when you're looking to switch you can find a firm recommended by its customers.

Solarplicity finished bottom of our latest survey, with an overall customer score of 44%. The top-scoring supplier scored 80%.

It was the only firm to score just one star for customer service online, on the phone, handling complaints, and for helping customers understand and reduce their energy use. In fact, Solarplicity was the only company to receive a one-star rating at all. Find out more about what Solarplicity's customers think of it.

See the best and worst energy suppliers, according to their customers.

The Ombudsman also found problems with Solarplicity's billing, switching and customer service. It has received 3,324 complaints about Solarplicity so far this year, compared with 1,035 in the whole of 2018.

It also said that Solarplicity has failed to take steps it recommended to put things right in good time for customers who have complained.

Which? comment as Solarplicity ceases trading

Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: 'Solarplicity's collapse comes as no surprise. It finished bottom of the 2019 Which? energy customer satisfaction survey and was plagued by problems with its customer service and complaints handling.

'Though the firm's customers will naturally be concerned, there is no need to panic as energy supplies will continue as usual while industry watchdog Ofgem appoints a new provider to take over. We do, however, recommend taking a meter reading as soon as possible to ensure the transition is as smooth as it can be.

'Once the move to the replacement provider has been completed, we would urge consumers to compare suppliers to find the best deal available to them for both price and customer service.