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What happens if my energy supplier goes bust?

energy supplier gone bust

Unfortunately, businesses including energy suppliers can fall on hard times. If your energy company goes bust, you’re very well protected by Ofgem who will move you to a new provider.

You'll be informed via email which supplier will be taking over your supply, as was the case when SSE took over the customers of Brilliant Energy. The new energy supplier or provider you'll be transferred to is known as the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR).

Will my power supply be cut off?

Not at all. Not only will there be no disruption to your supply, but you also won't be required to do anything at all. For peace of minds sake, the only time your supply is ever turned off is for scheduled maintenance or if you stop paying your bills. Once you're informed of your supplier going under, you should take an immediate meter reading as this may come in handy later.

What happens next, will I be automatically switched to a new supplier?

Yes. Once Ofgem has switched you, you can choose to remain with the supplier they have moved you to, change tariff with that supplier or change supplier altogether. The official advice is to take a meter reading then do nothing until Ofgem has found a new supplier and been in touch with you.

Ofgem will usually make a quick decision and announce details on their website, via social media or on the news. As the energy market regulator,
they ask existing energy providers to bid on the old supplier's customers to secure the best possible deals for consumers.

Once they’ve found the new supplier, you’ll be moved over and the new provider will contact you. That said, you may still want to consider moving again.

Will my tariff remain the same?

No. As tariffs differ from one energy supplier to the next, it’s highly unlikely that your new supplier’s tariff will be a carbon copy of your old tariff.

Will my energy bills go up?

The answer is they might or they might not. The contract the supplier puts you on will be a 'deemed' contract, and these are not usually particularly cheap contracts. They are called deemed contracts as you haven't chosen it. So, once you've been moved, you should want to compare energy suppliers and switch.

I am in credit with my old supplier, will this be honoured?

Good news, yes it will. After Ofgem has switched you, your new supplier will pay back any money you are owed. The new provider will contact you and explain how and when you'll get your credit back.

If you’re in credit but you haven’t been billed for the energy you used with your old supplier, it will be taken off your new account balance.

I am in debt to my old supplier, do I still have to pay this back?

Yes. Just as credit is carried over, debts are too. The only grey area that exists is who you'll have to pay back. You'll need to repay your new supplier if they've agreed to take on the old suppliers debts.

On the other hand, you may still need to pay your old supplier or their administrators if the new suppliers don’t take on the debt. 

Should I cancel the direct debit with my old supplier?

You can cancel your direct debit if you want to. If you choose to not to do anything your new supplier will contact you to set up your payment preferences. When they do contact you, they’ll be able to fill you in on any credit or debits associated with your account.  

I am not happy, who do I complain to?

If you’re unhappy with who you’ve been switched to after your supplier went bust, you are free to switch energy suppliers without paying any exit fees. If you want to make a complaint, your first port of call should be to the new supplier. If you’re still not satisfied, you may then take your grievance to Ofgem or the Energy Ombudsman.

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