Soaring gas prices have caused several smaller energy suppliers to collapse. If you're wondering what to do if your energy supplier goes bust, there are some simple steps you can take for peace of mind.
Energy-saving tips are always a top priority as we move into winter. However, this year they have never felt more important as the UK is hit by an energy crisis.
The energy crisis is the result of rising wholesale gas prices, however, due to the energy price cap and cheap fixed deals companies are unable to pass this cost onto customers. This has left many companies struggling.
Over six energy companies have already gone bust in the last month, and there are warnings that many more could follow. Here's what you need to know if your energy company goes bust.
What to do if your energy supplier goes bust
First off the bat - don't panic. Your gas supply will not be cut off if your energy company goes bust. You can erase any images of cold showers and no heating right now.
Secondly, you don't necessarily need to do anything besides take a quick photo of your meter reading. Certainly don't switch gas suppliers before you have been contacted by a new supplier. This is expected to happen in the next few weeks.
The energy regulator Ofgem will automatically switch you over to what's called the 'supplier of last resort' if your energy company goes bust. This new company will contact you, possibly by letter.
You will be able to check who your supplier of last resort is on the Ofgem website. This is worth doing to protect yourself against fraud.
Given that millions of people will be getting letters through the post, there are a chance scammers will use the opportunity to make money. You can ring up your new provider's customer service contact number to check everything is in order, too.
For now, we know that Ofgem has appointed British Gas to take over anyone supplied by People's Energy The Sun reports. But, as we said, it's a case of sitting tight for now until you're switched over.
If your account is in credit and your energy supplier goes bust Citizen's Advice webpage explains that your money is protected, and your new supplier will pay you back. On the flip side, if you are in debt to your last energy supplier, you will still have to pay this back.
Many are concerned about the increase in gas bills, but there are many ways to save money at Christmas which could help.
One small thing you can do is to take a photograph of your meter reading. Having a record of this will help the new supplier accurately measure your usage.
Once you have been switched to the supplier of last resort, ask to be put on the cheapest tariff. You are also free to shop around and switch if you wish. There will be no exit fees if you do so.
Which energy companies have gone bust?
- HUB Energy
- Utility Point
- People's Energy
- Avro Energy
- Green Supplier Limited
As Adam Fleming commented on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, the energy crisis is now affecting the larger end of the small companies. HUB Energy, with 6,000 customers, was the first to go back in August.
Avro Energy and Green Supplier limited together supply around 835,000 households. Igloo is reported to be in a precarious position and Bulb is seeking emergency funding. More companies are expected to go bust before the end of the year.
The important thing is not to panic, and follow Ofgem's advice.
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.
The hanging basket GYO trend is the new 'it' way to grow veg in a small space
Think your hanging basket is just for flowers? Think again...
By Kayleigh Dray
Monty Don’s top tip for growing dahlias is a must-try this February
Love dahlias? Monty Don's advice will help you get more flowers for free...
By Kayleigh Dray
Does an air fryer save you money? Yes, and not just because it costs less to run
It’s no wonder we’re all obsessed with them
By Lauren Bradbury