What happens if your energy supplier goes bust

Your energy won’t be cut off, but what should you do when your current energy supplier stops trading?

amy smith
Amy Smith
Updated 22 September 2021  | 5 min read

If your energy supplier has gone bust, you’ll still be supplied with energy. So don’t worry, you won’t be cut off. 

Ofgem – the gas and electricity regulator – will move you to a new supplier which could take a few weeks. 

Your new supplier will get in touch to explain what’ll happen with your account. If you haven’t heard from it for two weeks, you can get in touch yourself. 

Don’t switch supplier yourself until your account has been moved over as it can complicate things and make it harder to get back any money you’re owed. 

If your old energy company is taken over, you can find out who your new supplier will be online

Key points

  • Your energy supply won’t be cut off 
  • Ofgem will find you a new supplier – don’t switch while you wait, as this can complicate things
  • Your new supplier will get in touch with you to talk about your account
  • Take meter readings, keep any old bills or log into your online account if you have one
  • If you’re not happy with your new supplier, you can switch without being charged an exit fee

What you can do if your energy supplier stops trading

While you’re waiting to hear from your new supplier, you should: 

  • Take a meter reading – a photo might be more useful
  • Keep any old bills – they can prove your payment history and state whether your account is in credit or debt
  • Log in to your online account (if you have one) – it’s the easiest way to check your balance and download any bills

How does Ofgem choose who my new supplier will be?

Ofgem asks suppliers to bid to take you on. The one that Ofgem believes offers the best deal will win your account, and then you’ll be moved over to your new supplier. 

If you were already switching away from the supplier who went bust, you’ll continue to be moved to your chosen supplier.  

What if I don’t want to be with the Ofgem-appointed supplier?

You don’t have to stay with that supplier, so you can compare and switch to a different one if you want to. You won’t be charged exit fees.

You should wait until your new supplier is confirmed, otherwise your switch could fail and you’d have to start it again.

Will I be paying the same amount with my new energy supplier?

No, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be paying the same amount. You’ll be put on a ‘deemed’ contract, which can be more expensive as it can be a risk for a new supplier to suddenly take on lots of new customers. 

As soon as your new supplier gets in touch, you can decide to switch to a different supplier or tariff. 

What happens to my direct debit?

Your new energy supplier will contact you to discuss your account, which includes any direct debits you had with your old supplier. 

You can cancel your direct debit if you want to while you’re waiting to hear which energy company is taking you on. You can always set up a new direct debit when your new supplier gets in touch. 

I know who my new energy supplier is – what now?

That’s up to you. If your new supplier is more expensive, ask about its other available tariffs to see if you can move to one that’s more suitable. 

If you’re not happy, you can switch to another supplier without being charged an exit fee.

There are a few things you might want to check with your new supplier, for example if: 

You should also mention any complaints you had with your old supplier that haven’t been resolved. 

What if I was on a prepayment meter when my energy supplier went bust?

If you have a prepayment meter, any credit you have might be erased if your smart meter doesn’t work anymore. You will get your money back, but it can take a while. 

When your new supplier gets in touch, it should:

  • Tell you how (and where) to top up
  • Give you a new meter, if necessary, for free
  • Let you know how much emergency credit you can get

How can I get the best energy deal?

Ask your new supplier about its other tariffs and compare quotes from other providers to check you’re on the right deal for your needs.

While the market’s uncertain, you might find a better deal by getting quotes direct with suppliers than by using a comparison site or auto-switching service.

Frequently asked questions

Will I lose my electricity or gas supply?

No. You’ll still be supplied with electricity and/or gas during the transfer. 

What if my energy account is in credit?

Your money is protected, so your new supplier will let you know how you’ll be paid back. 

What if I was in debt to my old energy supplier?

When your new supplier takes over your supply, they’ll usually also take over your debt.

That means you just need to wait for them to take over your billing and they’ll bill you in the usual way.

If you’re struggling to pay, they should negotiate a payment plan for you.