Originally established in 2014, Iresa Energy was ordered to stop taking on new clients in 2017 following major failures in its internal systems. It collapsed a year later in 2018 at which point all of its customers were transferred to Octopus Energy.
Iresa created waves for both consumers and the regulator in the short time it was in existence.
Its prices were incredibly low in comparison to its competitors. According to A Spokesman Said, its founder Adeniyi Oladeji targeted people who were “low energy consuming customers”, “technically savvy people living away from home”, and “single”. Within a few short years, they had attracted the business of nearly 100,000 UK households and the ire of 9,000 customers breaking Citizens’ Advice for the worst customer satisfaction rating ever for an energy company.
OFGEM, the regulator, then barred them from growing their customer base and, at the same time, ordered them to:
- extend their calling hours,
- bring down call waiting times to under 5 minutes,
- respond to customer emails within 5 days,
- clear their already significant backlog of complaints,
- keep records of all expressions of customer dissatisfaction, and
- identify its vulnerable customers.
It wasn’t enough…and they went under.
In this article, we’ll look at Iresa’s short time in the spotlight including:
- a look at their market-beating tariffs,
- how long you had to stay signed up for,
- the customer service team,
- contemporary reviews of the company when it was still trading, and
- the mystery behind where it got its electricity and gas from.
Iresa energy tariffs
|Supplier Name||Fixed price option||Fixed contract length||Variable price option||Type|
|Iresa energy tariff||Yes||12 months||No||Renewable|
Iresa offered four tariffs including an electricity only tariff, an Economy 7 tariff, and a dual fuel tariff. None of the tariffs had an exit fee should a customer wished to have changed suppliers.
Iresa’s popular Flex 4 Dual Fuel tariff (direct debit payment) charged the following:
|Region||Electricity pence per kWh||Gas pence per kWh|
|North East England||11.960p||2.720p|
|North Wales, Mersey & Cheshire||12.770p||2.860p|
|North West England||11.930p||2.920p|
|South East England||11.910p||3.030p|
|South West England||12.660p||2.900p|
Iresa was much cheaper than its rivals. Its tariffs could be found on price comparison sites however they were always initially hidden because the company did not compensate the sites for either links or sign-ups.
On its website (archived here), it demonstrated to visitors the savings that customers could make against four of the bigger energy suppliers:
|Region||IRESA TARIFF||British Gas||EON||NPOWER||EDF|
|Our Prices||Savings against British Gas||Savings against EON||Savings against NPOWER||Savings against EDF|
|Merseyside & Northern Wales||£1,014.12||£225.98||£268.97||£264.21||£253.58|
|North Eastern England||£945.87||£224.99||£264.98||£343.96||£320.53|
|North Western England||£970.73||£236.00||£265.40||£306.68||£281.62|
|South Eastern England||£995.50||£196.44||£228.89||£282.20||£297.09|
|South Western England||£1,016.20||£209.98||£238.45||£264.11||£314.32|
The precise combination of circumstances that led to Iresa’s eventual downfall may never be known.
That said, many industry commentators have speculated that they were hobbled by charging customers very low prices in a time when wholesale energy prices were rising at the time. This would have created a perfect financial storm damaging their ability to create free cash flow and to invest further in back-end customer support services.
Iresa energy contracts
Had you signed up to an Iresa contract, you would have had to have committed for a minimum of 12 months before you could leave their service.
Iresa’s customer service team
By the time the company closed, its company page on LinkedIn stated that it had between 11 and 50 employees. How those employees were divided up between customer services, sales, technical support, and administration is unknown.
By the time it was sold to Octopus, the company had 90,000 registered customers representing a very high ratio of customers to members of staff.
Iresa Ltd reviews
During its short existence, Iresa was reviewed by customers on TrustPilot and by employees on Glassdoor. The Review Centre and Which? did not get a chance to do due diligence on the company before it ceased trading.
Iresa reviews by Citizens Advice
In its customer satisfaction survey covering the period of 1st January to 31st March 2018, Iresa scored 0.35 out of 5 for its customer service. Citizens Advice received a record 9,000 complaints about the company per 100,000 customers – five times the previous record held by TOTO Energy.
Iresa reviews on TrustPilot
TrustPilot is a particular popular review site where consumers and companies leave honest and sometimes anonymous reviews on the experiences they’ve had with individual suppliers. A total of 1,305 Trustpilot reviews on Iresa were posted. The company scored poorly with an average mark of 1.4 out of 5.
|Rating||%age of reviews|
Iresa employees on Glassdoor
Glassdoor is a website which allows employees to give anonymous feedback on their employers and they were expressing their concern about a lack of structure in the business and a failure to engage with members of staff in general.
One member of staff characterises the company as “very unprofessional” and another as “unprofessional and fails to deliver”.
Where did Iresa source its electricity from?
By law, OFGEM, the regulator, requires all energy suppliers to publish information on the mix of fuels they use every year to supply electricity to clients. Together with a breakdown of the sources of generation they rely on, they are also required to disclose what impact environmentally that selection of fuels has.
In its short time trading, Iresa never published a fuel mix disclosure or an environmental assessment so there is no way to ascertain accurately where Iresa sourced its electricity from.