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Your energy supplier has gone bust

This advice applies to England

You’ll still have gas and electricity if your energy supplier goes out of business. 

The gas and electricity regulator, Ofgem, will move you to a new supplier. This usually takes a few weeks.

Wait for your new supplier to contact you. They’ll explain what will happen with your account. Contact your new supplier if you don’t hear from them within 2 weeks. You can check who’s taken over your energy supply if you’re not sure who your new supplier is.

Don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier. You might find it harder to get any money you’re owed if you switch before this happens.

If your account is in credit

If your account is in credit your money is protected, unless you’re a small business customer. Your new supplier will tell you how you’ll be paid back.

If you’re a small business customer

If you’re a small business customer, Ofgem will try to choose a supplier that can refund some or all of your credit, but this is not guaranteed. Wait for your new supplier to contact you. They’ll tell you what will happen to your credit.

If your new supplier can’t refund your credit, contact your old supplier’s administrator. The administrator will take control of your old supplier and handle their debts. You can find their details on your old supplier’s website.

Contact the administrator to register as a creditor - this is someone who is owed money. You’ll need to prove your account with the old supplier was in credit. 

You can do this with past bills or statements. If you have an online account, it’s also a good idea to log into it to check your balance and download any bills or statements.

The administrator may be able to repay some of your credit. This can take a long time - sometimes more than a year. The amount you get depends on how much the old supplier owes to all of its creditors.

While you’re waiting to hear from your new supplier

If you have an online account, it’s a good idea to log into it, check your balance and download any bills. 

Before your new supplier contacts you, you should:

  • take meter readings - it’s useful to take a photo of your meter readings too

  • keep any old bills you have - these can help prove your payment history, credit balance or debt

  • make a note of your account balance - you’ll find this on your most recent statement

If you pay by direct debit, don’t cancel it straight away. Wait until your new account is set up before you cancel it.

When you know who your new supplier is

Your new supplier will write to tell you when your new account has been set up. This should happen within a few weeks.

Your new tariff might be more expensive than the old one. You should contact your new supplier to make sure you’re on the best tariff for you.

You can switch if you’re not happy with your new supplier or tariff. You can do this without paying an exit fee. 

Don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier. You might find it harder to get any money you’re owed if you switch before this happens. 

Read our advice about switching to a different supplier.

If you made a complaint to your old supplier that hasn't been resolved, you should raise it again with your new supplier.

If you get the Warm Home Discount

If you get the Warm Home Discount, your new supplier will tell you if you can still get it. If you can’t get the Warm Home Discount with your new supplier, you can switch to a different supplier. Use our price comparison tool to check which suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount.

If you're on the priority services register

If you were on your old supplier’s priority services register, ask your new supplier if you’re still on it. 

You can ask to be added to the new supplier’s priority services register if this has not happened automatically. If you’re on the priority services register you’ll get extra help or services free of charge. Read our advice on getting extra support from your energy supplier.

If you have a smart meter

Your smart meter could stop working in smart mode when you’re moved to the new supplier. This means it won’t send automatic meter readings. If you normally top up using an app, this could stop working too. Ask your new supplier how to do this.

If your new supplier can’t get automatic readings you’ll need to take readings yourself and send them manually. 

You might need to switch to a different supplier if you want your meter to work in smart mode again. Before you switch, you should contact the supplier and ask if they’ll support your meter working in smart mode.

If you have a prepayment meter

If you’re a prepayment customer, you should only top up in small amounts until your new account is set up. It’s best to pay only what you need to get through a few days. 

This is because if you have a smart prepayment meter, there’s a chance that your credit could be wiped when your account is moved. You’ll get your money back if this happens, but this can take a long time.

Your new supplier should:

  • let you know how to top up your meter

  • provide a new prepayment meter if necessary - they shouldn’t charge you for this

Check where your nearest top-up point is - it might not be the one you’ve been using. Find out more about topping up your prepayment meter.

Your new supplier should tell you how much emergency credit you can get. It might be different from your previous supplier.

Your new tariff might be more expensive than the old one. You might be able to find a cheaper tariff if you switch to a different energy supplier. You won’t have to pay an exit fee.

If you were in debt to your old supplier

If you were paying a debt to your old supplier you’ll still have to pay this back. 

Wait for your new supplier to contact you. If they’re taking on your debt, they’ll let you know. 

If the new supplier isn’t taking on your debt, you’ll have to pay an administrator instead - this is an organisation that takes over a company that goes bust.

If your new supplier takes on your debt

Your new supplier will usually contact you to arrange a payment plan. If you’re struggling to pay, they have to help you find a way to pay. 

You should try to negotiate a deal that works for both of you. Find out what to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills if you need help with this.

If you have to pay an administrator

The administrator will collect debts for your old supplier. You might get a bill from the administrator instead of your old supplier. 

If you were using a prepayment meter to pay off your debt, you might not be able to use the meter to pay the administrator. They’ll tell you how to pay.

You might be asked to pay all of your debt back at once. This is because administrators don’t have to follow the same payment rules as energy companies. 

You should still try to negotiate a payment plan with the administrator. They should consider this even if they do not agree to it. Speak to your new supplier if your debt means you’re struggling to pay your energy bills. 

If you get a large bill you didn’t expect, you should check it against your old bills and statements. If you’re not able to pay, contact the administrator that sent you the bill to discuss your options.

Get more help

If you need more help, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. You can also contact the consumer helpline if you think an administrator has treated you unfairly or aggressively.

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