Many people across the country are grappling with rising energy bills these days, but what happens when your supplier decides to exit the market?
Energy supplier Panda Power is understood to be on the verge of exiting the Irish housing market and if it were, around 60,000 electricity and gas customers would be affected by the decision.
So if your supplier decides to stop, here’s what you can do.
How am I affected if my supplier leaves the market?
If a supplier unexpectedly exits the market, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has the power to take action to ensure affected customers are guaranteed continuity of supply and their rights are fully protected.
The CRU will initiate the ‘Supplier of Last Resort’ process whereby remaining electricity customers will be moved to Electric Ireland to ensure their supply is not disrupted. Gas customers will be transferred to Bord Gáis Energy.
Do I have to do anything?
no The supplier of last resort will write to you and clearly state what you need to do. They will provide you with useful information and contact details to assist you in this process.
Will this cost me money?
According to the CRU, if you are directed to the provider of last resort, you will be charged the standard rate.
Any credits or debits that have arisen between you and your supplier will not be passed on to the supplier of last resort, as they do not have access to your old supplier’s billing system and therefore cannot quantify it.
These debits or credits are a matter between you and the exiting supplier, and the exiting supplier may issue a refund.
You should continue to pay your bills as usual.
There may be an option for Panda customers to choose their own supply. But there will probably only be days left to do so.
If customers are automatically shifted to the suppliers of last resort, they are stuck on so-called standard tariffs, which are usually very expensive, for a few weeks.
How long will I be with this new supplier?
This is determined by the CRU and depends on a number of factors including the number of customers at the outgoing provider and the ability to switch to your new provider. Your new supplier will tell you how long this period will be.
During this time, customers of the retiring provider are automatically switched to the provider of last resort and remain their customer until the end of the event. This is necessary in order to be able to continue to supply all customers with energy.
Daragh Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said it looks like Panda Power is exiting the market.
He advised all customers who fear that their provider is leaving the market to switch beforehand.
“Panda Power customers could still choose to switch now, if they got a good deal they could switch to a new provider and get a discounted rate. You can of course take action in advance,” he said.
“My advice to people would be if you can, switch before then. There’s nothing people can do, the process is pretty well oiled at this stage and going well.
“We all have the same power and gas lines, so you’re not changing anyone’s grid, you’re just changing providers, so it’s relatively seamless.
“It has happened before, but it has happened before at a supplier as large as Panda Power. A few suppliers have left this year and none have been too affected.
“If people don’t want to switch, they can just sit back, all the work really gets done. The only thing to note is that they could be upgraded to a higher tariff and end up paying more.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/explainer-what-should-i-do-if-my-energy-supplier-leaves-the-market-41987049.html Explainer: What should I do if my energy supplier exits the market?