Thursday 18 April 2019 5:13 pm

Ofgem set to slap energy supplier Solarplicity with indefinite ban on recruiting new customers

Fresh questions were raised today about the future of energy supplier Solarplicity after regulator Ofgem said it intends to extend its ban on the firm taking on new customers.

The regulator said the firm failed to address serious concerns Ofgem raised in February about its contact and complaints handling and the transfer of customers to new suppliers.

Read more: Ofgem ban energy supplier Solarplicity from taking on new customers

It intends to extend the temporary ban on taking on new customers indefinitely after a consultation period which is set to end in May.

Ofgem added: “If Solarplicity does not improve, Ofgem could start the process to revoke its licence.”

Solarplicity had “substantively complied” with its obligations on contract renewals, Ofgem said, and proposed to remove that issue from the provisional order which bans the firm from taking on new customers.

The supplier said it has “shown great progress across the board” and made “every effort” to satisfy Ofgem’s requests.

The company’s ban on taking on new customers sparked speculation earlier this year that it may become the latest to join a long list of failed suppliers.

Around a dozen energy suppliers have bowed out of the market since the beginning of 2018, as competition makes it difficult for companies to stay afloat.

Both Iresa and Economy Energy were slapped with new customer bans shortly before going bust.

In February the Energy Ombudsman said it had received 1,035 complaints about Solarplicity in 2018, mostly about billing.

Read more: Ofgem announces tougher new rules for fledgling energy companies

A spokesperson for Solarplicity said: “Our investments have significantly reduced the number of complaints, and strengthened our customer accounts management, with customers renewed or switched within the timescales required by Ofgem. Lastly we have further improved the way we respond to vulnerable customers and those with payment difficulties.”

They said the firm is confident that Solarplicity is on course to show that the issues have been addressed before the 22 May deadline.