Hundreds of Western Isles families face higher electricity bills following the collapse of energy provider, Our Power.
The Edinburgh-based firm was the electricity supplier to community interest company, Hebrides Energy – an initiative which promoted a range of new, cheaper tariffs for islanders.
Islanders could save as much as 20% on their electricity bills under the scheme, having a significant impact on fuel poverty locally.
Around 350 island households had signed up to the scheme which launched last March, said lead agency, Western Isles Council.
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They are now in limbo and face being switched to a different supplier to ensure their supply will not be cut off.
But, their new tariff is very likely to be dearer.
Energy regulator Ofgem warned in such situations people are put you onto a “deemed” contract they haven’t chosen.
Ofgem highlighted: “Your bills may go up, as ‘deemed’ contracts can be more expensive. But Ofgem will try to get the best possible deal for you.”
A Hebrides Energy spokesperson said: “As soon as the identity of Ofgem’s chosen replacement supplier is known, Hebrides Energy will engage with that supplier to ensure that the Hebrides Energy brand continues to represent value-for-money energy supply for island consumers.”
Our Power ceased to trade on Friday, citing a sharp increase in the wholesale price of electricity over recent months.
A statement from Our Power said: “It is with great regret that Our Power Energy Supply Ltd has ceased to trade.
“Ofgem, the energy regulator, is appointing a new supplier for our customers.
“Customers should not worry, their supplies are secure and credit balances are protected through the transfer to a new supplier.”
The statement continued: “Ofgem’s advice is not to try to switch, but to sit tight and wait until the new supplier has been appointed.
“This will help make sure that the process of handing customers over to a new supplier, and honouring credit balances, is as hassle free for customers as possible.”