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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 announce who is taking over your old supplier. They’ll usually announce who your new supplier is within a few days.

You can check if your supplier has gone bust and who your new supplier is.

Wait for your new supplier to contact you. They’ll explain what will happen with your account. If you don’t hear from your new supplier within 2 weeks, contact them.

Switching to a different supplier

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.

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 don’t have an online account or can’t access it at the moment, wait until your new supplier contacts you. They should be able to tell you how much credit you have or how much you owe them.

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

If you’ve already cancelled your direct debit, don’t try to set up a new one. Wait until your new supplier contacts you - they’ll help you set up a new account.

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.

When you know who your new supplier is

Your new supplier will write to tell you when your new account has been set up. 

Your new supplier will put you on a new tariff - it might be more expensive than your old one. They might tell you whether or not it’s their cheapest deal. If they don’t, you should contact them 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.

Because many energy companies are struggling, you won't find as many tariffs as normal. If you don’t find a better tariff than the one you’re on it’s probably better to wait until deals are available again.

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

If you normally top up using an app, this could stop working too. Ask your new supplier how to top up.

You might need to switch to a different supplier if you want your meter to work in smart mode again. You can check if your meter will work in smart mode after switching.

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 asked to switch from a supplier just before it went bust

You’ll still move to the new supplier you chose. You won’t need to do anything.

The supplier that’s taken over your old supplier should pay you back any money you’re owed when you move.

Wait until your new account is set up with the new supplier you chose. You can then cancel your direct debit with your old supplier.

If you were switching to a supplier when it went bust

Wait to hear from the supplier that’s taken over the supplier that went bust. They should tell you whether:

  • they'll take over your account
  • you'll stay with the supplier you were switching away from

If your switch went through and you've already paid in advance for your energy, your money is protected. The supplier that's taken over the supplier that went bust should pay you back any money you're owed.  

If the supplier you were switching from is still active, you can also contact them to check if they know whether your supplier is changing.

If you complained to your old supplier and it hasn’t been resolved

You should raise the complaint again with your new supplier.

If you’ve complained to the energy Ombudsman, they’ll contact you about their decision.

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.

If you’re worried about paying for your energy

You might be able to get help from the government and your energy supplier. Check what grants or benefits you could get to help you pay your energy bills.

You can also check what to do if you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter.

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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