What happens if my energy supplier goes bust?

Finding out your energy supplier has gone bust is worrying at the best of times, but if you’re struggling with bills, the uncertainty can make it even more stressful. But if it does happen, don’t panic. There are processes in place to minimise disruption, here’s what you can expect.

What should I do if my energy supplier goes bust?

Energy regulator Ofgem, will appoint a new supplier to take on everyone affected, this should only take a few days.

In the meantime, Citizens Advice, recommend taking a meter reading, as well as keeping old bills to hand and checking your account balance.

Otherwise, you don’t really need to do anything other than wait until Ofgem confirms who will take over. When this happens, your new energy provider should contact you and update you about what’s happening and what tariff you’ll be moved to.

If your account is in credit, this money will be protected. It will either be returned to you or credited to your new account.

Will I be cut off if my energy supplier goes bust?

No. If your energy supplier fails, you won’t have your energy supply cut off. Instead, Ofgem will find a replacement provider, any disruption should be minimal.

Do I need to cancel my direct debit?

Your existing direct debit will be redirected to your new supplier, so you don’t have to cancel it.

If you do want to cancel it, you can. However, it’s better to wait until your account is fully set up with your new supplier. Cancelling your direct debit before your account has been moved could lead to complications and incorrect billing (which could mean you unwittingly end up in debt).

Do I need a meter reading if I have a smart meter?

Smart meters automatically update your energy supplier with your usage but only when they’re in ‘smart mode’. If your provider goes bust and your new provider cannot access your smart meter’s smart mode, you’ll need to take a reading yourself. This is why it’s worth taking a photo or making a note of the reading as soon as possible.

What happens to my prepayment meter if my energy supplier fails?

If you’re on a prepayment meter you should be able to continue topping it up as normal.

Your new energy provider will contact you once they’ve been appointed and let you know how your account will be managed. They’ll also provide you with a new key card or token if necessary.

Will my new energy provider put me on a new tariff?

Yes, when your new energy provider takes over, you’ll be put onto a new tariff. When they contact you, they’ll provide tariff and payment details, so you know how your new account works and what you’ll be charged.

Will my energy bills increase under a new supplier?

Your energy bills could increase depending on the new tariff you’re given. However, you can switch to another tariff, or you can switch to a new energy supplier altogether. The good news is that you won’t be charged any exit fees for doing so.

If my energy supplier goes bust, should I switch provider?

Ofgem strongly advises that you do not switch energy supplier if yours goes bust. If you do, it can make the transition process more complicated, and you could potentially lose any credit you’ve built up .

The exception is if you’ve already started the switching process. If this is the case, you should carry on with the switch as planned.

What happens to outstanding bills and debts?

If you owe your existing supplier money, you may be asked to pay it back. Alternatively, your debt will be transferred to your new provider. Either way, you’ll be told what you need to do.

What happens to outstanding complaints?

Any outstanding complaints are unlikely to be investigated by your new supplier. If your complaint is ongoing, you may raise it with your new provider, but it’ll be at their discretion whether to look into it or not.

If you’ve already referred a complaint to the energy ombudsman, they’ll contact you with an update.

What happens if I’m a small business and my energy provider goes bust?

If you run a small business and your energy provider collapses, the advice is the same as it is for households. Your business energy won’t be cut off, so you won’t have to worry about stopping trading.

Ofgem will appoint a new supplier who will contact you with details of your new tariff.

Once your account has been moved over, you’re free to look at new tariffs or suppliers and will be able to switch without paying any exit fees.

You’re advised not to switch while your account is being transitioned but if you’ve already started the process, you should continue as planned .

How much should I pay for energy?

What you pay for gas and electricity will depend on your tariff. Energy costs are also affected by multiple factors, including your location, standing charges and wholesale costs (what your provider pays for energy).

If your bills have continued to increase and you’re looking for ways to keep costs down, these guides may help:


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