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Energy supplier Symbio stops taking new customers amid gas price squeeze

By PA News

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Energy supplier Symbio has stopped accepting new customers as turbulence has rocked the sector and put many of its rivals out of business.

Symbio said “technical issues” have forced it to stop taking new customers for the time being.

The supplier, which was fined earlier this year by regulator Ofgem, is another in a long line to stop taking new energy customers, as soaring gas prices squeeze their finances.

Igloo, Ampower, Utilita and Neo Energy have all decided to stop taking customers recently, while a series of other suppliers have gone out of business.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The crisis is also hitting linked companies, such as auto-switching service Flipper, which automatically changes customers to the cheapest deal on the market.

But after these low-cost tariffs were removed, Flipper decided to close its doors, it announced on Thursday.

It said: “We are very sad to announce that we have withdrawn from the market and will be closing, as we can no longer continue to offer the service promised to you, our loyal members, and we can no longer sustain the great savings that as Flipper customers you have come to expect.”

As gas prices soar, energy companies who have not pre-bought their gas are being forced to pay more for it than they have promised to sell it to customers for.

The situation has forced six energy suppliers out of business in September alone. Between them they served around 1.5 million households, or 5% of the market.

Flipper, which automatically changes customers to the cheapest deal on the market, has closed due to the gas price surge (PA)
Flipper, which automatically changes customers to the cheapest deal on the market, has closed due to the gas price surge (PA)

On Thursday the PA news agency reported that Bulb Energy, which has 1.7 million customers, has paused its referral scheme which incentivised customers to sign up their friends to the supplier.

Ovo Energy, which supplies around three million customers, has taken down a button from its website which allows customers to get a quote on their energy bills.

On its website, Symbio said: “Due to technical issues, we have temporarily stopped taking in new registrations. We apologise for the inconvenience.”

Earlier this week regulator Ofgem ordered Symbio to pay its £146,239 overdue payment into a renewable energy scheme.

If it does not, Ofgem could rip up Symbio’s licence and even fine it. Symbio was one of five suppliers to face such an order from the regulator.

It is not the first time Symbio has got on the regulator’s bad side. Earlier this year it was forced to pay a £100,000 fine for missing last year’s renewable payments.

Symbio has not responded to contact from the PA news agency.

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