Official Iresa Octopus information page
What has happened to Iresa?
On 22nd July 2018, Ofgem contacted us and some other suppliers to let us know that energy company Iresa would cease trading and their license would be revoked from 27th July. They did this to find a Supplier of Last Resort - the supplier who would best be able to take over another supplier’s accounts in the event of them going bust, to make sure that customers weren’t left without power. You can read about the Supplier of Last Resort process here which explains the guidelines Ofgem has put in place.
Once this was publicly announced, Ofgem appointed Octopus Energy as their Supplier of Last Resort at 11pm on 30th July, meaning that we would take over the account of every Iresa customer.
On the 31st July Ofgem passed us the data of everyone they believed to be an Iresa customer and by morning of the 1 August we had uploaded all of this data to our proprietary platform. By the end of that day, we had completed the mammoth task of creating a new account for each of these 95,000 customers, briefed our staff and emailed every single one of those 95,000 customers to let them know what was happening.
I was an Iresa customer on the 1st August 2018?
Since the 1st August we have sent all 95,000 Iresa customers:
1) An email on the 1 August to let them know what was going on, and asking them to bear with us whilst we integrated Iresa’s system data with our own platform
2) An email on the 8 August with a further update, and asking for a meter reading to help close down their Iresa account and open their Octopus Energy account with as much accuracy as possible
3) Their final bill for their time with Iresa, along with a simple form which enabled every customer to let us know if they felt that the final bill was wrong, and the reason for this
4) A welcoming email from Octopus Energy to explain how things work with us
5) All Iresa prepayment customers were also been set an Octopus Energy gas card & electricity key.
We updated a specialised Iresa blog regularly during August to keep Iresa customers updated with what we were working on during this process, as well as sending the communications above.
I left Iresa customer before the 1st August 2018?
We've contacted all customers who'd left Iresa before the 1st August and who'd received a final bill already, but had never received their refund. We have honoured all these refunds.
What are we still tidying up?
193 customers have not yet received a final bill from us. These are all customers who moved to us on 1st August - but whilst they were with Iresa they had a meter exchanged which was not recorded correctly on industry systems. This meant we have had to do a lot of manual work to identify the meters, and these bills have taken longer to produce. We are working on these manually, one by one, and hope to get these out over the next couple of weeks.
Some complexity in paying refunds to customers for whom we only held DD details via Iresa records has meant delays. We believe we are now up to date with refunds, but are issuing cheques to some customers.
We are also aware that there are some customers who left Iresa before the 1st August, and were never sent a final bill by them. We were not passed any information about those customers from Iresa systems but we're here to help if you think you are affected. If you are one of those customers, please contact us on the email address below.
What do I do if I have an outstanding issue?
If you have an outstanding issue you would like to discuss with us, please email email@example.com with as much detail as possible. One of our Iresa specialists will get back to you within 48 hours.
Read on for a historical log of the information given to Iresa customers as the Supplier of Last Resort process unfolded, as well as FAQs and useful links.
What is happening?
Ofgem, the energy regulator, has asked Octopus Energy to step in and look after Iresa’s customers. Cleaning up the mess made by Iresa is a mammoth undertaking and will take months to complete but we aim to be close to “business as usual” within a week or two.
Good to know:
- Your energy supply will continue uninterrupted. You will not be cut off.
- Any money Iresa owed you is safe and protected by the energy regulator Ofgem
- You will be moved onto Octopus's cheapest tariff which is hundreds of pounds cheaper than the Big 6.
- If you are a prepayment customer, have a look at our information page for customers with PAYG meters. You will be able to top up in the same way you have been doing and will not lose supply.
What have Ofgem said?
Here is a formal statement from Ofgem on the situation.
What do you need to do?
- Please do not call or email us yet. We do not yet have full information on your account, and are working with Ofgem to get this over the next few weeks.
- If you can, please make a note of your meter readings today and store them. We will ask for it soon. If you are away, or can’t make a note, don’t worry. It won’t affect your switch and we will be in touch soon with more information.
- Please do not cancel your Direct Debit with Iresa. This will automatically be transferred to us and any credit balance is safe.
- Your switch to Octopus Energy will be completed around August 21st. We will email you at this point to let you know. Ofgem advice is not to switch before the 21st August, but wait until we are in touch. From then on you'll have full access to an Octopus online account or be free to switch to other suppliers.
- If you do try to switch away from Octopus Energy before this email confirmation, the switch will unfortunately fail as you can't do two switches at the same time. We will work hard to minimise this period.
What happens next?
We will contact you within 7 days with an update. We'll also be blogging daily about the process - keep an eye out for updates here.
How long will it take to move my account to you?
August 1st - August 14th:
During the next two weeks we beg your patience: we are working with poor quality information and will be working hard to get everything into shape. Please do not contact us except in an emergency as we will not have full information on your account.
August 15th - August 31st:
We hope to have full information on your account towards this time and will contact you with information about any credit or debit balances.
Will I be cut off?
Your energy supply will not be affected by this process at any time.
Should I cancel my Direct Debit with Iresa? (or, What if I have already cancelled my Direct Debit with Iresa?)
Your Direct Debit with Iresa will be moved over to us, so there’s no need to cancel it. If you already have, don't worry too much - we will be in touch with information about how to set up a new one.
What happens to my credit balance?
Your credit balance is protected by Ofgem, the energy regulator. You will not lose it, and we will be able to return it to you. We'll work together with Iresa to get the final balances for all Iresa accounts (as of 31st July). This should take a few weeks. If you've already received a final bill from Iresa and are awaiting a refund, we will process that refund for you as soon as we've established that the balance from Iresa is correct!
Can I switch to someone else?
Your switch to Octopus Energy will be completed around August 21st. We will email you at this point to let you know. Ofgem advice is not to switch before the 21st August, but wait until we are in touch. From then on you'll have full access to an Octopus online account or be free to switch to other suppliers.
If you do try to switch away from Octopus Energy before this email confirmation, the switch will unfortunately fail as you can't do two switches at the same time. We will work hard to minimise this period.
I am no longer a customer of Iresa, but they still owe me money?
We will honour any credit balances for existing and old customers. Please bear with us and we will be in touch in the next few weeks.
I am not an Iresa customer / I have left Iresa, why have you contacted me?
We received Iresa’s customer database. We know that some of the data may be inaccurate, and there may be people in the mix who:
a) Have left Iresa (either switched away or moved to another property)
b) Think they have left but have not because the move wasn't fully processed by Iresa or another company
c) Are with Iresa but did not know
So: if your details were in the data that we received, we are doing the following:
- We check industry databases to see if the energy industry officially has you as an Iresa customer. If the industry databases say you are with another supplier, we will not switch you away
- If you had moved out of a property which is supplied by Iresa, we'll be in touch to get hold of details of the new occupier if possible, but will arrange to cancel the account in your name (we may need some proof that you've moved)
- If you are with Iresa but didn't know we'll seek to understand what happened and return you to your previous supplier if possible
From your end, sit tight. You don't need to do anything at this stage, and we will contact you once we have got to the bottom of it.
What happens to my open Ombudsman dispute with Iresa?
We’ve met with the Ombudsman and they are going to work through existing Iresa disputes. It may take about 4 weeks but they will be touch with you directly.
Who are Octopus Energy?
We are the only energy supplier recommended by consumer champions Which?, uSwitch’s Supplier of the Year, and the highest rated energy supplier on MoneySavingExpert’s recent customer service poll. We have also won a number of awards for our technology and customer experience.
I am moving house. How do I let you know?
If you’re moving house before the end of August, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org on the day you move out with your meter readings, a forwarding address, and the name of the person moving in (if you have it). We’ll get back to you with anything you need to do.
If my tariff is changing, what is my new DD going to be?
Please bear with us on this, as we don’t yet know how much energy you are likely to use. We are still working through a lot of messy information we received via Ofgem from Iresa, and are waiting for the final account balances (as of the 31st of July) to be transferred over to us, so that we know where your account stands. Without this, and other account information, we can't accurately work out your DD. Once we've worked through the information, we’ll be in touch.
Can I have a smart meter with you?
Yes! We are currently installing SMETS1 meters. Please bear with us whilst we get your account fully signed up with us. After that you’ll be able to book a smart meter installation from your online account.
Will you be able to read my existing smart meter?
The current generation of meters available across the industry generally aren't compatible across different suppliers. That means that unless you have the same kind of meter that we install (made by Secure), yours will no longer be 'smart' (which means that you'll have to give us manual meter readings). If you want to go 'smart' again, we can install one of our Secure meters once we have your account fully set up with us.
Why aren’t Octopus as cheap as Iresa?
There is a reason Iresa went bust. We regularly update our prices to reflect the wholesale cost of the energy we supply you. Although we’ve won numerous awards for our customer service, we add less than 5% to your energy bill to cover the entire costs of running our business. There are a number of energy suppliers offering break-even or below cost energy at the moment, and they will either sting you with price rises or go bust. We’d rather offer our customers long term good value with customer service you can trust.
Why can’t I choose who takes over my Iresa account?
A switch of supplier in Britain requires both a losing and a gaining supplier, but because Iresa are no longer trading, they can’t operate as the losing supplier. We’ve been asked by Ofgem to set up and manage accounts for all Iresa customers. Once this process is complete, you’ll be free to switch or stay, whichever you prefer.
Are you going to go bust too?
We are a well established business with hundreds of thousands of customers. We are backed by the Octopus Group, a twenty year old financial services company who manage £8 billion of funds, including £2 billion in renewable energy generation.
How do I get in touch?
Please bear with us and we will be in touch in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we're blogging daily updates on this process. If you have an emergency such as a loss of supply, please call 0808 1781551, or email email@example.com
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