Octopus Energy is taking on the 580,000 customers of collapsed supplier Avro, as the wave of failures in the sector boosts the position of stronger businesses.
Industry regulator Ofgem chose the new supplier after running a competition between other energy businesses.
It takes the total number of Octopus customers to 3.1m, up from 2.5m before the award, making it a major player in the industry just six years after its establishment. It is the UK’s fifth biggest supplier, by number of customers.
Neil Lawrence, Ofcom’s director of retail, said: “We understand that this news may be unsettling for customers, however they do not need to worry. Their energy supply will continue as normal, and customer credit balances will be honoured.
“Your energy supply will not be interrupted. Octopus Energy will be in contact with customers over the coming days with further information. Once the transfer has been completed, customers can shop around for a better deal if they wish to.”
New providers do not have to honour the old deal which failed suppliers previously offered, but they do still have to respect the price cap which applies across the sector.
Octopus Energy asked its new customers to wait 48 hours before getting in touch to allow it to upload their details, and said they would join its flex tariff, which is £10 below the cap.
“We have a strong track record in large customer migrations and would like to reassure customers that there will be no interruption or impact to their energy supply,” Octopus said.
“Our responsibility is to ensure that Avro’s customers are well looked after. We offered to take on this responsibility because we believe that our technology platform (Kraken) will make the change as smooth and straightforward for their customers as possible.”
Gillian Cooper at Citizens Advice said it is important any struggling customers also receive help from Octopus.
“Anyone struggling to pay their bills must be supported and Octopus Energy must make sure that any debt repayment plans Avro Energy customers may have been on before are continued,” she said.
“It’s important they continue to provide the Warm Home Discount to all customers who previously received it from Avro Energy. It’s up to the Government and Ofgem to work with suppliers to ensure this happens.”
Octopus said it will honour those debt repayment plans.