If you're on a standard tariff you might see price increases as soon as October, but you can best the increases if you switch now. If you're on a fixed rate tariff, your rates are locked in until the end of the fixed period. At this point your prices might rise.
Some energy comparison websites have suspended their service as they can't currently offer cheaper tariffs, however the service is still running. You can use it to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity provider for your needs.
If your energy supplier has gone bust please don't panic, your gas and electricity will not be cut off. You also will not lose any credit that you had with your supplier.
Follow these steps to help with your to a new supplier:
No, your gas and electricity supply won't be cut off. Your supply will continue as normal and Ofgem will move you to a new supplier as part of a 'safety net'. You shouldn't notice any change except for a new supplier being appointed for you.
This new supplier is called the ‘supplier of last resort’ and is chosen by Ofgem through a ‘competitive’ process.
Take a meter reading as soon as possible to track how much gas and electricity you used with your old supplier. Keep it safe as you will need to give it to the new supplier.
If your energy company has gone it might put a notice on its website or email customers, but this isn't guaranteed to happen.
Ofgem won't contact each customer individual, instead it will publish updates of which suppliers have ceased trading and the proposed new supplier.
Your new supplier ill contact you once the transition is complete - however this can take a couple of weeks.
If you receive any suspicious calls, emails or text, check Ofgem's website to confirm who it has appointed as your new supplier and then contact that supplier directly.
Your old tariff will end and you will be set up on a special ‘deemed’ contract - this means a contract you haven’t chosen - with your new supplier. This contract will last until you change it.
The switch to a new provider shouldn't take longer than a few days if your previous provider has gone bust. However, it could take up to 21 days to switch supplier with an average of 18 days for gas and 16 days for electricity.
This doesn't include the 14 day cooling off period where you can still change your mind.
According to Ofgem, it's likely your energy bills will go up as 'deemed' contracts are usually more expensive. The regulator says it will always try to get you the best possible deal for those in this situation.
Also deals sold by firms that have stopped trading have often been cheap in order to attract customers to join them. So there could be quite a big price difference between your old and new suppliers’ tariffs.
Your new supplier will inform you of the new rate and when they will switch and take over your supply.
You won’t be charged exit fees if you decide to go with a different supplier to the one Ofgem has chosen for you.
Ofgem says that you can cancel your direct debit if you want to. You will be able to set up a new direct debit with your new provider.
The new supplier will get in touch and help you set up your new account and explain how it will arrange your direct debit payments.
If you are in credit the energy supplier should not take any direct debit payments from you.
If you are in debt and owe money to the energy supplier then any direct debit payments will be taken as normal. You will be able to set up a new direct debit with the new supplier when they contact you.
Your new supplier will pay back the outstanding credit you may have. Once Ofgem has appointed the new supplier, it will contact you to explain how this will work.
Usually your credit will be automatically added to your account with the new supplier but costs for the energy you have used but not been billed for will be deducted from your credit.
It's a good idea to take a meter reading and a note of your balance with the failed energy supplier so that you have it ready when your new supplier gets in touch with you.
If you switched away from the supplier before it stopped trading, you should still be able to get your credit balance back.
Ofgem said it looks to choose a supplier which will pay back money due to customers who have switched.
This depends on what your new supplier agrees with your old supplier’s administrators.
If your new supplier has arranged to take on the customer debt of your old supplier, you will need to pay back the debt to your new supplier.
If this has not been arranged, you won't have to pay your new supplier any money you owed to your old supplier.
However, you may still have to pay back your old supplier or their administrator.
Your new supplier will explain to you how any repayments will work.
There is help available if you're struggling to pay your energy bill. For example, you can ask your supplier to review your payment plans, offer payment breaks or reductions to allow you more time to pay.
26 suppliers are currently signed up to an to help customers worried about paying their bills. The pledge builds on support already in place for customers in need and includes adjusted repayment plans and provision of emergency credit.