Go Ef­fort­less is first en­ergy sec­tor ca­su­alty of coron­avirus

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Ed Clowes

GO EF­FORT­LESS is set to be­come the en­ergy sec­tor’s first vic­tim of the pan­demic as the sup­plier be­gins a for­mal process of ex­it­ing the mar­ket.

The Stoke-based sup­plier, which has been of­fer­ing gas and elec­tric­ity since 2014, has in­formed en­ergy reg­u­la­tor Ofgem that it in­tends to en­ter the Sup­plier of Last Re­sort (SoLR) scheme, in­dus­try sources say.

The mech­a­nism re­vokes a com­pany’s li­cence to sell en­ergy and trans­fers cus­tomers to a new sup­plier.

The scheme is de­signed to avoid house­holds be­ing left with­out en­ergy be­cause their sup­plier has gone bust. Ofgem will now be­gin search­ing for a suit­able sup­plier to take on Go Ef­fort­less En­ergy’s cus­tomers.

It marks the first time an en­ergy sup­plier has left the mar­ket since the start of the Covid-19 pan­demic. There is grow­ing con­cern among sup­pli­ers that some cus­tomers will not be able to pay for their gas and elec­tric­ity in the com­ing months if they are made re­dun­dant once the Gov­ern­ment’s fur­lough scheme ends.

A num­ber of sup­pli­ers have told The

Daily Tele­graph that some cus­tomers are can­celling di­rect deb­its – an early in­di­ca­tion they are strug­gling to make pay­ments.

Go Ef­fort­less co-founder An­drew Burns said he could not com­ment un­til Ofgem made an an­nounce­ment. Ofgem de­clined to com­ment.

Com­mer­cial cus­tomers such as restau­rants and shops are par­tic­u­larly at risk of delin­quency as their rev­enues have been hit the hard­est by coron­avirus lock­down mea­sures.

Strug­gling en­ergy sup­pli­ers were thrown a £350m life­line in June by Ofgem as it fights to pre­vent a wave of bank­rupt­cies.

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