Ofgem, the energy market regulator, has banned energy provider Iresa from:
- taking on new customers
- increasing existing customers’ direct debits, and
- asking them for one-off-payments.
The restrictions will remain in place for up to 3 months until it resolves customer service issues.
As a result of this move, MoneySuperMarket has removed Iresa from its results tables, meaning the company will not appear if you run a quotation.
You can run a quotation here.
Ofgem has specified that Iresa must improve the service it provides to its customers in the following ways:
- extending call centre hours, bringing down average call waiting times to below 5 minutes, and responding to customers who request a call back by the end of the next working day
- responding to customer emails within 5 working days
- clearing a backlog of consumer emails
- logging and recording all expressions of customer dissatisfaction
- acting to manage and identify all of its vulnerable customers, including offering to put them on a priority services register.
Ofgem will monitor Iresa’s response. If it fails to take these steps within the next three months, Ofgem could take further action which could include, ultimately, revoking the supplier’s licence.
The regulator has taken this action due to the substantial information it has received suggesting that Iresa’s customer service failings risk causing its customers immediate harm.
Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “This order sends out a very clear message to suppliers that where they fail their customers on service, Ofgem will step in and take strong action.
“It’s crucial that all suppliers provide customers with good service, including acting quickly and effectively to sort things out wherever problems occur.
“Iresa now needs to act quickly and put its house in order otherwise ultimately its licence could be revoked.”
Ofgem is running a separate longer-term investigation into the company.
How to contact Iresa
Telephone: 0115 727 0982
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What happens if my energy supplier goes bust?
It is very rare for an energy supplier to go out of business, but it happened in 2016, with the collapse of GB Energy.
As happened then, any future collapse and its consequences would be managed by Ofgem, the energy market regulator. Thanks to Ofgem’s safety net, even if your supplier goes out of business, your gas and/or electricity supply will never be cut off or interrupted.
All UK energy suppliers are regulated by Ofgem.
In addition to guaranteeing continuity of supply, Ofgem works to move customers of a failed company to the best possible deal, with any debit/credit transferred to a new supplier that is chosen to inherit the business.
Read our Q&A on this topic here.