Former Our Power customers being switched to Utilita

  • 31 January 2019
  • 24 replies
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Hi everyone

Just to let you know that anyone who was previously a customer of collapsed energy firm Our Power may get an email from a company called Utilita.

Ofgem has appointed Utilita to take over the energy supply of anyone with Our Power, the Edinburgh-based energy firm which has announced it has ceased trading.

If you are in the process of switching to Pure Planet, but have not completed the switch and come on supply, your energy supply will go to Utilita. Once you've switched to Utilita, you'll need to wait 10 days before switching to Pure Planet.

We’ve been contacted by a few Members who were with Our Power previously but have been with Pure Planet for some time, who are also receiving emails that Utilita will be taking over their supply.
If Utilita try and switch you away from us, let us know by messaging the team using WattBot in your app. We'll raise an objection. If we can't stop the switch, we'll request for your supply to be returned to us (this is called an 'erroneous transfer').

Got any questions? Let’s talk about them below.


24 replies

Hi i moved from Out power to Pure PlantI received an email from Utillati saying they taking over my supply of Our Power costumers but I have already moved to you so where do I stand
Thank you
Wendy Bradley
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hi WBradley
It's all explained HERE
I'm assuming you moved before they went bump, although the outcome is pretty much the same in that Utilita take over all of the accounts from OUR Power (not out power although as typos go it was probably more accurate than the original)
Utilita will contact you in the fullness of time regarding any outstanding balance or refund. It will take a while.

I'm also wondering if they will try and switch you back, because of another post on here, so keep an eye on your emails just in case.
If you get a mail saying you are going to be switched (it shouldn't happen but just in case) you'll need to contact PP through help "message the team" and ask them to block it.
(I'm going to post a separate question about this)

WBradley;22352:
Hi i moved from Out power to Pure PlantI received an email from Utillati saying they taking over my supply of Our Power costumers but I have already moved to you so where do I stand
Thank you
Wendy Bradley
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I'm wondering because of a post on here yesterday, whether Utilita (who are the supplier of last resort appointed by Ofgem to take over from Our Power) will try to switch customers back after they have already switched away.
I think it's worth keeping an eye open on this just in case.
EDIT oops hadn't read THIS until after I posted sorry
Disclaimer I like rats, they've had a bad press because of Bubonic plague, but they are very intelligent creatures.
WBradley;22352:
Hi i moved from Out power to Pure PlantI received an email from Utillati saying they taking over my supply of Our Power costumers but I have already moved to you so where do I stand
Thank you
Wendy Bradley


Hi @WBradley
Welcome to the community!
Thanks for posting about this.
I see @woz already posted a link to this post from earlier today, but I've moved your post into the same thread.
Hope it helps 🆙
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Ooops hadn't read this just posted about it HERE - sorry.
marc you beat me to it ... @Marc is this at odds with what they are doing?
FROM Ofgem's website:
I’m already in the process of switching supplier and it’s not yet complete. Will my switch go through and is my credit balance protected?


You don’t need to worry. If it’s already in progress, you will continue to be moved to the new supplier you have chosen. You don’t need to do anything.
When your switch completes and the account with your old supplier is closed, you may be owed money if your account had built up credit with the old supplier. We'll look to appoint a supplier who will pay back money owed to you that's outstanding from a closed account.
woz;22356:
is this at odds with what they are doing?
FROM Ofgem's website:
I’m already in the process of switching supplier and it’s not yet complete. Will my switch go through and is my credit balance protected?


You don’t need to worry. If it’s already in progress, you will continue to be moved to the new supplier you have chosen. You don’t need to do anything.
When your switch completes and the account with your old supplier is closed, you may be owed money if your account had built up credit with the old supplier. We'll look to appoint a supplier who will pay back money owed to you that's outstanding from a closed account.


That's how it should work @woz
But they might. And if they do we'll raise an objection.
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Unless I've misunderstood that doesn't agree with what you've written above.."If you are in the process of switching to Pure Planet, but have not completed the switch and come on supply, your energy supply will go to Utilita."
Wheras Ofgen wrote
If it’s already in progress, you will continue to be moved to the new supplier you have chosen.
Marc;22379:
That's how it should work @woz
But they might. And if they do we'll raise an objection.
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Hi woz, i may be wrong but i think what marc means is, if you applied to switch after a company ceases to trade then that switch will be stopped and you will be switched to the company of last resort. Once that is complete then you have to start a switch to PP again.
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thanks jon, I'm sure you're correct. (you're always correct - it's really annoying!)
as it stands that isn't clear, or I'm too literal or both..
so how about:-

If you started the process of switching to Pure Planet after the collapse of Our Energy, but have not completed the switch, and come on supply, your energy supply will go to Utilita. Once you've switched to Utilita, you'll need to wait 10 days before switching to Pure Planet.

If you started the process of switching to before the collapse of Our Energy, but have not completed the switch, and come on supply, your energy supply will go to Pure Planet.
@Marc feel free to modify or delete if wrong.

Jon1;22394:
Hi woz, i may be wrong but i think what marc means is, if you applied to switch after a company ceases to trade then that switch will be stopped and you will be switched to the company of last resort. Once that is complete then you have to start a switch to PP again.
Hi @woz
What @Jon1 said is right.
If someone starts a switch to PP after a company, let's call it Power Cut, has announced it's ceased trading and Ofgem appoint another company, let's called it Energy-R-Us, to take on all their customers, then that person will have to go to Energy-R-Us first and wait 10 days before switching again.
If you'd already started your switch from Power Cut to PP before the announcement then in theory you'll switch to PP and won't have to go to Energy-R-Us first.

But because industry data isn't always 100% accurate and up to date, it's not unusual for Energy-R-Us to start the switch for a former Power Cut customer who had already started their switch to PP (or any other provider for that matter), or even for someone who switched and came on supply months ago. That's when we'll dispute it.

Hope that helps! I have a feeling I might just have made it even more confusing.... 😕
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Haha. Woz, well i never start an argument unless i know im right;).
Lets face it ofgem being clear is never going to happen and the rules were written in a time when nobody expected 10 utility companies going belly up in 12 months.
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Power Cut... haha that’s hilarious...

Marc;22415:
Hi @woz
What @Jon1 said is right.
If someone starts a switch to PP after a company, let's call it Power Cut, has announced it's ceased trading and Ofgem appoint another company, let's called it Energy-R-Us, to take on all their customers, then that person will have to go to Energy-R-Us first and wait 10 days before switching again.
If you'd already started your switch from Power Cut to PP before the announcement then in theory you'll switch to PP and won't have to go to Energy-R-Us first.

But because industry data isn't always 100% accurate and up to date, it's not unusual for Energy-R-Us to start the switch for a former Power Cut customer who had already started their switch to PP (or any other provider for that matter), or even for someone who switched and came on supply months ago. That's when we'll dispute it.

Hope that helps! I have a feeling I might just have made it even more confusing.... 😕
Marc;22415:
Hi @woz
What @Jon1 said is right.
If someone starts a switch to PP after a company, let's call it Power Cut, has announced it's ceased trading and Ofgem appoint another company, let's called it Energy-R-Us, to take on all their customers, then that person will have to go to Energy-R-Us first and wait 10 days before switching again.
If you'd already started your switch from Power Cut to PP before the announcement then in theory you'll switch to PP and won't have to go to Energy-R-Us first.

But because industry data isn't always 100% accurate and up to date, it's not unusual for Energy-R-Us to start the switch for a former Power Cut customer who had already started their switch to PP (or any other provider for that matter), or even for someone who switched and came on supply months ago. That's when we'll dispute it.

Hope that helps! I have a feeling I might just have made it even more confusing.... 😕


Hi Again Marc

The issue I have is that Utilita have blocked my initial transfer, then subsequently blocked again. I was notified of a third block, only electricity this time, within the past few days.

Now I have no debt, and what should be a healthy credit with Our Power, therefore no reason for any block. As far as I am concerned, Utilita have no legal right from the offset to block the transfer. The accounts transferred on 31 January, therefore 10 February was the date they should have lifted any block or objection. FYI, the 10 day was only in place as they received the data at once, and it looks like it was easier to be lazy than remove those who objected to being moved to that company.

This aside, I have two other issues. The app is not connecting to the server. Secondly, my smart meter gives consumption per hour, week, month - it does not give an accumulated balance. This is likely to be the same with other Our Power customers. Unless there's something I'm missing in the menus, but there's nothing I can see to give a definitive reading. Any assistance would be received gratefully.
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hi, I can’t help with the blocked switch but just to say you aren’t reading your smart meter, you’re reading the in-home display. You need to read the actual meter, which will need to be woken up by pressing a button.(9 or A or B ) - post back if you need help with that.
You need to contact Utilita to get them to unblock your switch if it’s they who are blocking.
Try again later with the server, if it persists post back
Saorsa2019;25176:
Hi Again Marc

The issue I have is that Utilita have blocked my initial transfer, then subsequently blocked again. I was notified of a third block, only electricity this time, within the past few days.

Now I have no debt, and what should be a healthy credit with Our Power, therefore no reason for any block. As far as I am concerned, Utilita have no legal right from the offset to block the transfer. The accounts transferred on 31 January, therefore 10 February was the date they should have lifted any block or objection. FYI, the 10 day was only in place as they received the data at once, and it looks like it was easier to be lazy than remove those who objected to being moved to that company.

This aside, I have two other issues. The app is not connecting to the server. Secondly, my smart meter gives consumption per hour, week, month - it does not give an accumulated balance. This is likely to be the same with other Our Power customers. Unless there's something I'm missing in the menus, but there's nothing I can see to give a definitive reading. Any assistance would be received gratefully.
woz;25180:
hi, I can’t help with the blocked switch but just to say you aren’t reading your smart meter, you’re reading the in-home display. You need to read the actual meter, which will need to be woken up by pressing a button.(9 or A or B ) - post back if you need help with that.
You need to contact Utilita to get them to unblock your switch if it’s they who are blocking.
Try again later with the server, if it persists post back


Thanks Woz

However, it is the meter I'm reading. The meter is set up with numbers 1-6 as shortcuts to various value based balances.

Pressing A enters 'VEND MODE'. At this point it will accept any numeric press. Pressing B at this point displays 'REJECTED'. Pressing B by itself displays 'CREDIT', and nothing else.

Numbers 1-6 return differing usages in values for Hour, Day, Week, Month. Another is for the History.

6 cycles a 'test' menu, where the only mention I can find of KWH.

I have no idea how to get the actual reading.
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hi Saorsa
do you know which energy company fitted the meter? Did you try pressing 9?
Also you’re looking for something similar to “tot imp” or total import, also, do you have any previous readings which will guide you to the magnitude of number you’re looking for?
if all else fails post a photo with the serial no blocked out but answer the above first if you know the answer and we’ll see how we go...
Saorsa2019;25182:
Thanks Woz

However, it is the meter I'm reading. The meter is set up with numbers 1-6 as shortcuts to various value based balances.

Pressing A enters 'VEND MODE'. At this point it will accept any numeric press. Pressing B at this point displays 'REJECTED'. Pressing B by itself displays 'CREDIT', and nothing else.

Numbers 1-6 return differing usages in values for Hour, Day, Week, Month. Another is for the History.

6 cycles a 'test' menu, where the only mention I can find of KWH.

I have no idea how to get the actual reading.
woz;25194:
hi Saorsa
do you know which energy company fitted the meter? Did you try pressing 9?
Also you’re looking for something similar to “tot imp” or total import, also, do you have any previous readings which will guide you to the magnitude of number you’re looking for?
if all else fails post a photo with the serial no blocked out but answer the above first if you know the answer and we’ll see how we go...

If I mind right it was installed by SMS, installed in August last year, unfortunately leaving no instructions or manual.

9 works. I've never had to enter the menus before. Pressing A or B is the natural choice, and selecting any numeric value after A or B just causes errors. However, I looked up the details on this site, found the same smart meter, left it an hour or so and tried just 9 and it worked.

In terms of transfer, Trust Pilot seems to have numerous reviews with similar circumstance to myself, my advice to other former Our Power customers - if Utilita are 'objecting' to your transfer away, make a formal complaint, chase it quickly and get them to issue a 'Final Response' putting you into a 'Deadlock' position then complain to the Ombudsman, making it very clear that Utilita are blocking your agreed transfer to your chosen provider.

Ofgem's advice to us customers was that Utilita MUST refund any credit balance which has been guaranteed by Ofgem, and MUST put transferred customers on the cheapest tariff, none of this 26p to 46p per first unit, with subsequent units being at least 50% higher than Our Power. Ofgem made it clear that Utilita cannot block transfers for customers who prefer not to use Utilita as a supplier.

To summarise Ofgem's advice, Utilita were chosen as a 'bridge' only to guarantee no loss of service or money during a short 10 day transition period. Utilita are not adhering to this and are treating Our Power customers as their own, which is not the advice given by Ofgem; on the contrary their advice make a clear distinction between customers who agree with Utilita as a supplier and those who don't and give advice for both scenarios. In addition Utilita are not honouring immediate transfers and are making transferring as difficult as possible.
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hi Saorsa2019
Glad 9 worked, I thought it might.
Very useful advice re Utilita, Ofgem need a good hard poke to send Utilita a reminder of their obligations.
I assume the complaint you referred to was made to Utilita and not to Ofgem also?
Also I'm guessing Ofgem will only do something if they get a number of complaints, Ofgem should have done their due diligence re Utilita, and from the way they (U) are behaving (or your description of the way they are behaving) it will probably be Utilita who go bump next.
You can almost bet that the next thing will be a ridiculous bill from Utilita...keep us informed it's interesting?
Saorsa2019;25199:
If I mind right it was installed by SMS, installed in August last year, unfortunately leaving no instructions or manual.

9 works. I've never had to enter the menus before. Pressing A or B is the natural choice, and selecting any numeric value after A or B just causes errors. However, I looked up the details on this site, found the same smart meter, left it an hour or so and tried just 9 and it worked.

In terms of transfer, Trust Pilot seems to have numerous reviews with similar circumstance to myself, my advice to other former Our Power customers - if Utilita are 'objecting' to your transfer away, make a formal complaint, chase it quickly and get them to issue a 'Final Response' putting you into a 'Deadlock' position then complain to the Ombudsman, making it very clear that Utilita are blocking your agreed transfer to your chosen provider.

Ofgem's advice to us customers was that Utilita MUST refund any credit balance which has been guaranteed by Ofgem, and MUST put transferred customers on the cheapest tariff, none of this 26p to 46p per first unit, with subsequent units being at least 50% higher than Our Power. Ofgem made it clear that Utilita cannot block transfers for customers who prefer not to use Utilita as a supplier.

To summarise Ofgem's advice, Utilita were chosen as a 'bridge' only to guarantee no loss of service or money during a short 10 day transition period. Utilita are not adhering to this and are treating Our Power customers as their own, which is not the advice given by Ofgem; on the contrary their advice make a clear distinction between customers who agree with Utilita as a supplier and those who don't and give advice for both scenarios. In addition Utilita are not honouring immediate transfers and are making transferring as difficult as possible.
woz;25263:
hi Saorsa2019
Glad 9 worked, I thought it might.
Very useful advice re Utilita, Ofgem need a good hard poke to send Utilita a reminder of their obligations.
I assume the complaint you referred to was made to Utilita and not to Ofgem also?
Also I'm guessing Ofgem will only do something if they get a number of complaints, Ofgem should have done their due diligence re Utilita, and from the way they (U) are behaving (or your description of the way they are behaving) it will probably be Utilita who go bump next.
You can almost bet that the next thing will be a ridiculous bill from Utilita...keep us informed it's interesting?


The initial complaint should be addressed to Utilita. Use their online form. They will contact on any given telephone number within a couple days.

Once they contact, they should be advised that their services are not required. They should be reminded that no contract has been agreed, therefore no contractual obligations are in force for the customer. If needed, the following should be quoted:

"The legal definition of a contract is a mutually agreed arrangement by two or more parties." This is key, as when coupled with a clear refusal to accept any contractual obligations forced by Utilita, this removes any argument, by Utilita, of an 'implied' acceptance of a contract; in better words, this prevents Utilita claiming that the customer has accepted contractual obligations by not refusing. 'Implied consent' was deemed illegal and illegitimate by the EU over 10 years ago and is one of the fundamental protections offered in both the DPA and GDPR.

Utilita's CSA's are acting very arrogant, therefore it is very easy for them to issue a Final Response. They will issue an email or letter containing the next steps, which includes escalating to the Ombudsman. At this point, set up an online account with the Ombudsman. Keep any evidence at hand, for example any email trails, letters, bills etc.

When making the complaint make sure you assert that you made clear to Utilita you do not recognise them as your supplier and you do not want them as your supplier. Assert that you do not, never have and never will accept any contractual obligations with Utilita.

As the resolution, make it clear that you know and understand the Ofgem decision. Make clear you want Utilita to stop blocking your transfer and your credit balance to be refunded.

Yes Woz, they are acting underhand. It appears Ofgem decided the same fate for another supplier which ceased trading just before Our Power; which begs the questions, are Utilita the first call for Ofgem for all companies customer's after they reach difficulty? This would explain the cavalier attitude of their CSAs and the firms overall arrogance.
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Thanks for sharing this, I’m sure others in a similar position will appreciate it.

Hi guys, my energy company went bust and was taken over by utilitia last year. I have a cursory look at the letter- ‘great news you’re on our cheapest smart energy plan’ direct debit stayed the same, life goes on (I’m a single dad to four kids and run my own business, kinda busy) . When notified my contract was coming to an end was told I’d underestimated usage to tune of £1200. On closer inspection seems I’m on 26p/kWh, almost twice the national average. I hadn’t ‘overused’ just been overcharged.

 

 I’d paid The £1200  so I could switch supplier without thinking (told my kids off for their slackness at turning of lights etc) 


now they are chasing me for £400 for the last three months of contract 


this seems crap, how can you be put on 26p/kwh  along side ‘great news’ you’re  on our cheapest tariff. Seems to be capitalising on opportunity to me. I didn’t run the previous energy company into the ground. I didn’t overuse electricity (nor did my kids) I feel totally shafted because I read headlines over small print. Am I screwed or is there anything I can do?

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow thats dont seem right. 

Firstly ask for proof of usage before paying anything, obviously speak to them and complain hard about the price you have/had been charged and also make a complaint to the industry ombudsmen. 

How old is this alleged debt as there are time limits on what they can claw back. 

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@TOMCCHEF  Did Utilita make any effort to get meter readings from you?

 

The terms of the tariff they switched you onto are demonstrably unfair, did they make any attempt to contact you and keep you up to date with your bill?

Ofgem have a responsibility here as they chose the company you switched to, I’d fire off a complaint to them and to Utilita in the first instance.

You need to complain in writing, and if no resolution you can then take it to the Ombudsman. Utilita also have an obligation to treat customers fairly, they don’t appear to have done that in your case. You should keep records of all correspondence.

You have nothing to lose by complaining, but I really don’t know if you’ll be successful. I know the time to do all of this will be an issue, they will rely on that, don’t let them win, even if you don’t win you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your ombudsman complaint probably cost them money although schadenfreude won’t pay the bills and it might be an expensive lesson (but I hope you succeed). 

Also Citizens’ Advice 

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Hi guys, my energy company went bust and was taken over by utilitia last year. I have a cursory look at the letter- ‘great news you’re on our cheapest smart energy plan’ direct debit stayed the same, life goes on (I’m a single dad to four kids and run my own business, kinda busy) . When notified my contract was coming to an end was told I’d underestimated usage to tune of £1200. On closer inspection seems I’m on 26p/kWh, almost twice the national average. I hadn’t ‘overused’ just been overcharged.

 

 I’d paid The £1200  so I could switch supplier without thinking (told my kids off for their slackness at turning of lights etc) 


now they are chasing me for £400 for the last three months of contract 


this seems crap, how can you be put on 26p/kwh  along side ‘great news’ you’re  on our cheapest tariff. Seems to be capitalising on opportunity to me. I didn’t run the previous energy company into the ground. I didn’t overuse electricity (nor did my kids) I feel totally shafted because I read headlines over small print. Am I screwed or is there anything I can do?

 

 

 

 

 

wasn't the cheapest similar tariff or cheapest overall?

Have you checked all meter reads are correct? I see your on a smart meter but even those can produce an estimated bill depending on what your reading preferences were set.

 

Maybe consider raising a usage dispute so that this can be looked at, but thats if your confident those charges are wrong, 

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