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What to do if your energy supplier goes bust

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You may be aware that the UK is currently being affected by a surge in the price of gas, putting suppliers at risk of going out of business or collapsing completely.

Many households will be impacted, but we are here to reassure you with advice and tips on what to do next if your energy firm folds, and how to manage your bills if you’re struggling to meet any rising costs.

My supplier has gone bust, what do I do next?

Should your supplier go out of business, rest assured that there will be no interruption to your energy supply. Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, will automatically switch your account to a new supplier.

Any credit on your account will move with you and be returned by the new supplier. Similarly, any debt you had will transfer with your account and be payable to your new supplier.

What can I do if the tariff with my new supplier is higher than before?

You should contact your new provider immediately and ask to go on their cheapest tariff. Alternatively, you can shop around and switch if you want to - you won’t be charged exit fees. You can compare prices on the Citizens Advice energy comparison website and we can offer guidance on switching gas or electricity supplier.

Always keep a record of your meter readings, including the date. This should be done every three months.

I have a pre-paid meter. What happens if I need to top-up before I receive keys from my new supplier?

Ofgem advise that you should still be able to top up your meter as you would normally while they appoint a new supplier for you. Your new provider will issue keys as soon as they take over your account, but this may leave a small window of a few days when you might be without. You shouldn’t lose supply.

However, in the event that you are not able to use the top-up keys linked to your old supplier and you need to top-up while you wait, you can get in touch with your new provider as you may be able to make a direct payment or request emergency credit.

I’m worried about being able to pay my energy bills this winter. What support is out there?

With temperatures set to dip, it’s important you and your family are kept warm, safe and well. Here are our tips for saving money and reducing your bills:

  • Check if you are eligible for the government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022. You may also be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.
  • Discover plenty of simple ways you can save money on energy costs, including a number of government schemes and support for vulnerable residents.
  • Keep your home warmer by shutting doors, turning down the thermostat in rooms you don’t often use, closing curtains or blinds at night and using draught excluders.
  • If you are concerned about how to stay warm, have a chat with your energy supplier who may be able to help.

I’m finding managing my money in general difficult. How can you help?

If you are struggling to manage your household finances, please don’t suffer in silence. It is usually best to take swift action and reach out for help. Our specialist Money Guidance team are on hand to help you get back on track and feeling more confident. Simply get in touch via Guideline by completing our online financial guidance form.

The Money Advice Service also has a handy online budget planner, which you can use to see what you can afford and how you might be able to make money savings.