Switching energy supplier if you’re in debt
Whether you can switch supplier if you’re in debt to your gas or electricity supplier depends on how long you’ve owed the money.
You've been in debt for 28 days or less
If you've owed the money to your supplier for 28 days or less, you can switch supplier. The debt will be added to your final bill from your old supplier.
You've been in debt for more than 28 days
If you've owed the money to your supplier for more than 28 days, you can't switch supplier until you've paid the money back.
If your supplier tells you they're raising their prices and you decide to switch, you'll have 30 days to pay off the debt before they can stop you.
You can't be stopped from switching if it's your supplier's fault that you're in debt - for example because they've estimated your bill wrong. If you do owe them money you'll still need to pay this when you get your old supplier's final bill.
If you have a prepayment meter
There are different rules for switching supplier if you pay in advance for your gas and electricity.
You can switch supplier unless you owe more than £500 for gas or £500 for electricity.
You’ll need to ask the new supplier to agree to transfer your debt along with your supply (this is called the ‘Debt Assignment Protocol’).
If your supplier doesn’t let you switch
Your supplier might try to stop you from switching, even if you're entitled to. If this happens, you should make a complaint.
If you have a prepayment meter, you might want to write to your supplier and explain that you have the right to switch. Use our template letter to help you.
How to switch supplier
Find out how to switch supplier if you’re entitled to.
If you’re having problems switching supplier, contact your local Citizens Advice bureau or the Citizens Advice consumer service.
Citizens Advice consumer service (Scotland)
Tel: 03454 04 05 06 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm)
The Citizens Advice consumer service will provide energy and postal service advice to Scottish consumers. You can find out more about the service, including how to get in touch online, on Contact the consumer helpline.