Statement on the collapse of Solarplicity Supply Ltd

Ombudsman Services | Aug 13, 2019

Ofgem has today announced that Solarplicity Supply Limited, an energy supplier with around 7,500 domestic customers and fewer than 500 business customers, has ceased to trade.

As the Energy Ombudsman, we have received 3,324 complaints about Solarplicity so far this year, including 583 in July alone. The corresponding figure for the whole of 2018 was 1,035.

Responding to the company’s collapse, Energy Ombudsman chief executive Matthew Vickers said billing, switching and customer service had been the main drivers of complaints about Solarplicity in recent months.

He said:

“From what we have seen in the complaints that we handle, Solarplicity failed to provide a good level of customer service.

“Its collapse doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it will be another source of stress for the company’s customers – many of whom have already experienced problems.

“In addition to high complaint volumes for a company of its size, we have also seen a significant problem with remedy implementation, whereby Solarplicity fails to take the steps we require of it to put things right for the customer within the specified timeframe.

“This includes failure to make the necessary goodwill gesture payments and refunds, which has been a concern of ours for some time.

“We are keen to work closely with whichever supplier is appointed to take on Solarplicity’s customers in order to reach the best possible outcome for consumers.

“It is worth noting, however, that Ofgem’s supplier of last resort (SOLR) process but does not cover complaints to the ombudsman.

“This means that if a consumer complains to us about a supplier that subsequently ceases trading, there is no formal mechanism that enables the complaint to be resolved or the consumer to receive redress.

“The consumer could either be awaiting our decision on their case or, if we have already upheld their complaint, expecting action from the supplier to put things right, such as a financial award or an apology. In both scenarios, consumers who have escalated their complaint to us unfortunately won’t receive redress.”

For more information on the collapse of Solarplicity Supply Limited, visit this page on the Ofgem website.