Rising gas prices have meant many energy suppliers have had to close down. We’ve looked at what you need to do if this affects you.
Gas prices have been rising across Europe since the start of 2021, with a particularly large spike in cost in August. Several factors have led to the price increases, including lower levels of stored gas due to a cold European winter last year, coupled with increased demand for gas from Asia.
The UK has been badly hit because it relies heavily on natural gas - 85% of UK homes use gas central heating. To make things worse, the amount of wind energy has decreased because it’s been the least windy year since 1961, and a fire at a National Grid plant in Kent on 15th September cut off an important electricity supply between France and the UK.
What happens if my energy supplier goes bust?
First of all, don’t panic. Your gas and electricity supply will be switched to a new supplier by Ofgem (the gas and electricity regulator) automatically. This means you won’t lose your energy supply - although it’s like that you will be switched onto a higher rate tariff than you previously had. Anyone being moved will be subject to Ofgem's price cap, which is the maximum any supplier can charge, but which is set to rise by 12% on 1st October 2021.
What can I do if my energy supplier goes bust?
Let Ofgem handle the switchover to a new supplier for you. While you’re waiting to hear from your new supplier it’s a good idea to take meter readings and make sure you’ve got all your old bills to hand. If you have online bills, download them to a safe place in case you need them to refer to.
According to Ofgem, it’s ok to cancel your old direct debit as you’ll be setting up a new one with the new supplier.
Can gas companies cut you off?
You won’t get cut off due to your old supplier going bust. Your gas and electricity supply will continue during the transfer of your account. If you were in debt to your old supplier, the new supplier will take on the debt and contact you to arrange a payment plan.
Can energy companies keep your credit?
If your old energy account had credit on it, and you’re a domestic customer, you won’t lose the credit. When you know who your new supplier is, contact them and they’ll be able to tell you how to claim it back, although it’ll probably be credited to your new account.
Unfortunately, a refund of credit can’t be guaranteed if you’re a small business customer and you may have to contact the administrator of the old energy company to register as a creditor.
Which energy companies have gone bust?
Since the start of 2021 more than half the energy companies have gone bust. These include Avro, Green, Green Network Energy, Hub, Money Plus, People’s Energy, PFP, Simplicity Energy, and Utility Point.
Their customers have been taken on by the following companies:
- Avro - Octopus Energy
- Enstroga - unknown at time of writing
- Igloo Energy - unknown at time of writing
- Symbio Energy - unknown at time of writing
- Green – Shell Energy
- Green Network Energy - EDF
- Hub - E.On Next
- MoneyPlus - British Gas
- People’s Energy - British Gas
- PFP - British Gas
- Simplicity Energy - British Gas
- Utility Point - EDF
Who is my energy supplier?
If your energy supplier has gone bust, your account will get transferred to a new supplier. It may take a few weeks, but your new supplier will write to you once they’ve got your account up and running. If you don’t hear from your new supplier, then you can speak to the Meter Point Administration Service either online or by telephone on 0870 608 1524. Alternatively, you can check with Ofgem.
How to change energy supplier
If you’re not happy with the new supplier or the tariff that you’ve been put on, then you can change supplier. But speak to the new one first and see if they can put you on a better deal. If they can’t, then you’re able to change as you usually would, and you won’t have to pay an exit fee, according to Ofgem.
You can ring around new suppliers to find the best package or use a switching comparison site. Read more about switching energy supplier here.
How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
It shouldn’t take more than three weeks to switch to a new energy supplier.
When can I switch energy supplier?
You can switch energy supplier whenever you like, but if you’re owed any money then wait until your account has been moved over to the new supplier. Switching before the move is complete might complicate matters.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is correct at the time of writing, 30th September 2021.
Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.