Did Your Ohio Energy Supplier Go Bust?Posted on
What Do You Do When Your Electricity Supplier Files Bankruptcy?
In March, Volunteer Energy Services filed for bankruptcy in Columbus, Ohio. This family owned company served roughly 212,000 customers in Ohio and neighboring states. To be sure, the past few years have been hard on many energy suppliers. But what about keeping the power on at your home? After all, you want to know what to do if your energy supplier goes bust? So, with all that in mind, let's review what happens if your electric provider leaves the state.
How Did Volunteer Go Under?
Though Volunteer Energy Services served electricity customers, it mainly focused on supplying natural gas in Ohio, especially for winter heating. However, in recent years, warmer winters reduced the amount of the natural gas that the company sold. Small business and restaurant shut downs during the pandemic in 2020 cut further into the company’s sales. When the big freeze in Texas struck in 2021, it choked off wholesale natural gas supplies for days. So, Volunteer had to buy gas at higher prices from the secondary market. And though the company tried selling off some of its assets, the deals fell through. As a result, Volunteer couldn't pay $12.6 million owed to its wholesale suppliers. And so the company filed bankruptcy. In recent news, NRG Home agreed to purchase what remains of the company.
What to Expect When an Ohio Supplier Goes Bust
Now, if your electricity supplier files for bankruptcy or decides to leave the state, don't worry. Your power will stay on. This is because Ohio state laws protect customers in the event of a company leaving with the “provider of last resort”. This means your local utility will continue to supply your home at the default rate.
If Your Electricity Supplier Goes Bust Or Leaves Ohio
Though rare, some energy suppliers will leave the state. For that reason, Ohio state laws prevent failed suppliers leaving customers in the dark. The Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO ) enforces the laws covering Ohio electricity suppliers. This includes how to handle suppliers who leave the state because they go out of business or violate Ohio law.
When a supplier decides to leave the state, they must mail a written notice to their customers within two weeks. This notice gives you 15 days to choose a new supplier to take their place. You can choose between staying with your local utility or switching to a new retail Ohio electricity supplier.
If you choose to stay with your utility, you usually don't need to do anything. However, you will pay the utility’s default Price to Compare rate. On the other hand, you can shop for a new supplier. If that's so, then you’ll want to start as soon as possible.
The best place to do that is at https://www.ohenergyratings.com. Here you can quickly compare plans and rates. You can also read customer reviews and choose the one that best fits your needs and save you money. Plus you’ll also find news about events affecting your Ohio energy bills.