Centrica takes on 350,000 new customers as People's Energy collapses
British Gas owner Centrica is to take on customers from failed rival People’s Energy, the blue chip said on Monday.
Scottish firm People’s Energy, which ceased trading on 14 September, has around 350,000 domestic and 500 business customers.
They will now be switched to British Gas under the Supplier of Last Resort process. Put in by regulator Ofgem, the process aims to ensure people receive an uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity if their supplier goes under.
All costs incurred by British Gas in taking on People’s Energy customers that it is not able to recover will be met by Ofgem through the industry levy "in a timely manner", Centrica said. Eligible costs include buying extra energy, refunding credit balances and some operating costs.
Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea said: "We’ll ensure the switchover is as smooth as possible. We’re a brand trusted by millions and we’ll be working hard to gain the trust of our new customers too.
"The actions we have taken over the last couple of years mean Centrica is in a robust financial position and, as a responsible energy supplier built on a sustainable model, we are well hedged for the coming winter."
People’s Energy was founded in 2017 and employed around 430 people. No reason has been given for its collapse, but the entire industry has been rocked by this year’s historic surge in wholesale gas prices.
Centrica has now taken on the customers of four failed energy suppliers this year through the SOLR process.
As at 1315 BST, shares in Centrica were ahead 3% at 52.8p.