What to do if your energy supplier goes bust

This article helps you understand what happens when an energy supplier goes bust, how your gas and electricity supply is protected, and the steps that happen to move you to a new supplier.

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A global hike in wholesale power and gas prices means UK households could face increased winter energy bills. The increased costs also put pressure on energy suppliers, with People's Energy and Utility Point going bust this month, and the sixth-largest energy firm Bulb requesting a government bailout to help it stay afloat.

It is anticipated that more of the smaller energy suppliers will continue to lose money, even with the price cap increasing by £140 on the 1st October.

This article helps you understand what happens when an energy supplier goes bust, how your gas and electricity supply is protected, and the steps that happen to move you to a new supplier.

My energy supplier has gone bust, now what?

If your supplier goes out of business Ofgem's safety net will ensure you’ll always have an energy supply.

Ofgem's guidance is set out in three easy steps

  1. Take a meter reading and don’t switch supplier yet

    Cancel your direct debit if you want to. If you have a switch already in progress, this will continue and you will be moved to your chosen supplier.

  2. Wait for Ofgem to appoint a new supplier

    There is no need to do anything. Your electricity and gas supply won’t be disrupted. The process usually takes Ofgem a few days and the Ofgem safety net protects your supply and any credit balance.

  3. When the new supplier contacts you

    When your new energy supplier gets in touch, ask to be put on their cheapest tariff or shop around and switch to see if you can make a saving. You won’t be charged any exit fees.

Your new energy supplier will explain how they will manage your account balance, including any credit refunds.

What happens if you have a smart meter?

Ofgem try to find a supplier that can give you the best deal in the circumstances. If the new supplier can’t operate your smart meter in smart mode - it will continue to work, but as a ‘traditional’ meter.

That means the new supplier will operate it as a traditional meter and meter readings will be needed to be taken.

It’s quite likely your meter will work in smart mode again in the future. For example, if you choose to shop around for another tariff or supplier, or when all meters are enrolled on the national smart meter communication service.

Will your energy bills go up?

Your new supplier will put you on what is known as a ‘deemed’ contract. This means a contract you haven’t chosen.

Deemed contracts can be more expensive so your bills could increase. Deemed contracts can cost more because the supplier takes on more risk. For example, they might have to buy extra wholesale energy at short notice for new customers, so they will charge more to make up for it.

What happens if you are in debt to your old energy supplier?

You will usually need to pay back the debt to your new energy supplier if they have arranged to take on customer debts from your old energy supplier.

You will not need to pay back the debt if your new supplier hasn't made this arrangement. However, you may have to continue to pay it back to your old supplier or their administrator.

What happens if you are in credit with your old energy supplier?

If you have a credit balance with your old energy supplier, your new energy supplier will pay back the outstanding credit you may have.

Once your new supplier has been appointed they will contact you to explain how this will work.Costs for any energy you have used but have not had a bill for will be deducted from your account balance. It's important to take a meter reading when you are made of aware of your existing supplier ceasing to trade.

What will happen to customers of suppliers who have ceased trading?

Under Ofgem’s safety net, the energy supply for all customers will continue, and any outstanding credit balances will be protected.

If you are a customer of HUB Energy

Ofgem has appointed E.ON Next to take on the 15,000 customers of HUB Energy. If you're with HUB Energy, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with E.ON Next. This will take effect from 13 August 2021

If you are a customer of MoneyPlus Energy

Ofgem has appointed British Gas to take on the 9,000 customers of MoneyPlus. If you're with MoneyPlus Energy, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with British Gas from 11 September 2021.

If you are a customer of PFP Energy

Ofgem has appointed British Gas to take on the 82,000 customers of PFP Energy. If you're with PFP Energy, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with British Gas from 11 September 2021.

If you are a customer of Utility Point

Ofgem has appointed EDF Energy to take on Utility Point's customers. If you're with Utility Point, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with EDF which will be priced at the same rate as its standard variable tariff. This will take effect on 18 September 2021.

If you are a customer of People's Energy

British Gas has been appointed by Ofgem to take on the nearly 350,000 customers of People's Energy which ceased trading last week. Customers' energy supply will continue as normal and they will be switched to British Gas from September 19 2021.

If you are a customer of Avro Energy

Ofgem has appointed Octopus Energy to take on the 580,000 customers of Avro Energy. If you're with Avro Energy, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with Octopus Energy from 26 September 2021.

If you are a customer of Green Supplier Limited

Ofgem has appointed Shell Energy to take on the 255,000 customers of Green Supplier Limited. If you're with Green Supplier Limited, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with Shell Energy from 27 September 2021.

If you are a customer of Igloo Energy

Ofgem has appointed E.ON Next to take on the 179,000 customers of Igloo Energy. If you're with Igloo Energy, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with E.ON Next from 3rd October 2021.

If you are a customer of Symbio Energy

Ofgem has appointed E.ON Next to take on the 48,000 customers of Symbio Energy. If you're with Symbio Energy, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with E.ON Next from 3rd October 2021.

If you are a customer of ENSTROGA

Ofgem has appointed E.ON Next to take on the 6,000 customers of ENSTROGA. If you're with ENSTROGA, your current tariff will end and you'll be moved onto a new tariff with E.ON Next from 3rd October 2021.

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Tags: Energy