Energy Price Hike

Claire Brown News

What to do if your energy supplier goes bust? 

  • Wait for your new supplier to contact you. They’ll explain what will happen with your account and when it will be moved. Contact your new supplier if you don’t hear from them within 2 weeks.
  • 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 your money is protected – Your new supplier will tell you how you’ll be paid back.
  • 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 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 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

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.
  • 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.

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’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

Also:

  • Check where your nearest top-up point is – it might not be the one you’ve been using.
  • 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

  • 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.

What can Citizens Advice do to help you?

  • Find out who your new supplier will be if yours has gone bust.
  • Help switch to a cheaper tariff when the situation settles
  • Help you apply for Warm Home Discount. Different suppliers have differing eligibility rules – if you are moved to a new supplier, you will need to check if you are still eligible.
  • Advise on many other ways to reduce your energy costs. In many cases, simple changes to the way you use energy in the home can save £100’s each year.

 

How to contact Citizens Advice

 

More info at

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/problems-with-your-energy-supply/your-energy-supplier-has-gone-bust/

 

Money Saving expert

 

Nick White

Energy Adviser and Project Manager

Citizens Advice South Hams