So far more than a dozen energy suppliers have ceased trading since the start of September, affecting around two million households. With predictions of more on the way, people are right to be concerned about where they stand.
The first thing to be clear on is that if your energy supplier collapses, your supply itself is not affected. At this point energy regulator Ofgem can – and very often does – step in and appoint another supplier to take over your energy provision – and your account. But what does this mean for you, and how does it work?
What is a ‘Supplier of Last Resort’ (SoLR)?
When your energy firm collapses, Ofgem selects another provider to take on its customers. This new supplier is a Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR). Ofgem chooses which supplier it will appoint, based on whether it can supply new customers without detriment to the service of that supplier’s current customers.
Once Ofgem has appointed an SoLR, usually within a matter of days of your current provider going under, your new provider should contact you. It’s worth if you can taking a picture of your meter to have an accurate reading as soon as you know your supplier has ceased trading.
Who are the Suppliers of Last Resort?
There is no set supplier – Ofgem will use a selection process to choose who to appoint. Our table below lists those energy suppliers chosen as SoLRs for customers of companies who have ceased trading since September.
|Ceased trading||Appointed new provider|
|PFP Energy||British Gas|
|Utility Point||EDF Energy|
|People’s Energy||British Gas|
|Avro Energy||Octopus Energy|
|Igloo Energy||E.on Next|
|Symbio Energy||E.on Next|
|Pure Planet||Shell Energy|
|Colorado Energy||Shell Energy|
|GoTo Energy||Shell Energy|
Do I need to contact my new energy supplier once it’s been appointed?
Your new supplier should contact you to discuss your account and tariff, including managing any money you owed to your previous supplier or how it will handle a refund if you are in credit. You shouldn’t have to do anything – but do chase them if contact is lagging.
Do I cancel direct debits to my previous energy supplier?
You don’t have to – but don’t worry if you already have or want to. Your new supplier will arrange this with you when it contacts you.
Will my energy bill go up with my new supplier?
It’s possible. Your new supplier is likely to put you on a ‘deemed’ contract (one you haven’t chosen) meaning that it may be more expensive than the previous contract you were on. When you’re contacted by your new supplier, ask them if you can be out on its cheapest tariff. You can also shop around, but switching ‘deals’ are not prevalent right now.
Even if your current with your old provider had more than 49 days left to run, you still shouldn’t be charged an exit fee should you decide to move.
I owe money to my old supplier – what happens now?
If your new energy supplier has agreed to take on customer debt, then you will continue to pay your new supplier.
If not, says Ofgem, then you will not have to do this, but you may still have to pay what you owe to administrators. Your new supplier should explain to you how this will work when it contacts you, but make sure you have your most recent bill to hand.
My old supplier owed me money – what happens now?
Put simply, you should be refunded, but you may be deducted money for energy you have used but not yet been billed for. Make sure you have, if you can, an accurate meter reading to hand.
Do I have to stay with the new supplier?
You don’t have to stay with your new supplier at all, but general advice is to wait until you have been contacted before looking to make a move.
Switching energy suppliers is still a rather subdued process right now, with the current uncertainties so while you can of course shop around, it’s not likely that you will see a significant saving if you switch. If your contract runs out reasonably soon, you may be better off waiting until then before you make the move.
Can I raise any new complaints to my energy supplier if they have ceased trading?
In short, no – unless you are disputing your energy bill or charges, which means that your new supplier should be able to handle your complaint. You can find out more in our guide on what happens to your energy complaint if your company has ceased trading.
If you wish to raise a complaint with your new supplier, you can use Resolver for free to start a case.