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What’s happening in the energy market?

Gas and electricity prices are rising and energy companies are going bust – find out what this means for you and what help is available if you’re struggling.

amy smith
Amy Smith
Updated 4 October 2021  | 5 min read

Why are energy prices going up?

There’s a shortage of gas and electricity, so energy companies are having to pay more to buy it. This means they have to raise the price of their tariffs in order to cover the increased cost. 

Some suppliers haven’t been able to afford the rise in energy prices, and have collapsed as a result. 

If you’re on a standard variable tariff (SVT), the maximum price energy suppliers can charge customers – called the energy price cap – is also increasing. 

Which energy companies have gone bust and who is my new supplier?

As of 4 October 2021, here are the energy suppliers that have gone bust, plus the companies that have taken on their customers. 

When Old supplier New supplier
3 October ENSTROGA E.ON Next
3 October Igloo Energy E.ON Next
3 October Symbio Energy E.ON Next
22 September Avro Energy Octopus Energy
22 September Green Supplier Limited ('Green.') Shell Energy
14 September People's Energy British Gas
14 September Utility Point EDF
7 September PFP Energy British Gas
7 September MoneyPlus Energy British Gas
9 August Hub Energy E.ON Next

How much more will energy cost per month?

That depends on what type of tariff you’re on, the standing charge and the unit rate (the price of each kWh of electricity and gas). 

If you’re on an SVT, you’ll also need to consider that the energy price cap could affect how much you pay each month. The price cap could push the maximum cost up to around £106 per month if you’re on a standard variable rate, or about £109 for prepayment customers.

Can I switch energy supplier at the moment?

Most comparison sites have stopped comparing energy tariffs as there aren’t enough options that provide you with a good deal.

But you can still switch your energy tariff by going directly to the provider, or with Energylinx

When will I be able to switch energy again?

You can still move energy suppliers, but the higher tariff costs mean you’ll likely be paying more than you were before you switched. 

Is it different for prepay customers?

Rising energy costs affects all customers, including those on a prepay tariff. This means that the amount you top up by might not get you the same amount of gas or electricity as before.

If you’re on a prepayment standard variable tariff, the energy price cap might offer some protection as you can’t be charged above its maximum limit. 

My tariff runs out in the next few months – what should I do?

You can still compare energy deals online or even go directly to suppliers, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find a competitive deal right now. 

Unless your supplier has gone bust, you might be charged an exit fee if you leave your current tariff early. 

Are we going to have energy supply issues this winter?

The government is working with the energy industry to resolve the supply issues and have stated that “consumers should not worry about their energy supply”

I'm still in debt from Covid, what can I do?

You should talk to your energy supplier first and see what it can do to help. The government and Ofgem have introduced emergency measures and you can also get help from Citizens Advice if you’re struggling.

What help is there for vulnerable people?

There are a few schemes that can help you with your energy bills: 

  • Winter Fuel Payment up to £300 fuel payment if you were born on or before 5 October 1954
  • Cold Weather Payment £25 for every 7 days of extremely cold weather between November and March
  • Warm Home Discount £140 off your electricity bill if you get Pension Credit or live in an eligible low-income household

How can I cut my energy usage?

Some tips for cutting back on your energy usage include: 

  • Turn off lights and appliances when not in use
  • Lower the temperature of the heating, tap water and washing machine
  • Use LED bulbs and check the efficiency of your appliances
  • Don’t run the tap when washing up – use a bowl instead
  • Have a speedy shower instead of a bath
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