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November 23, 2021

What Do I Do If My Energy Supplier Goes Bust?

Yesterday, another energy provider went under as Bulb enters Special Administration. With 1.7m Bulb clients, there will be a lot of people asking the question today; “What happens if my energy supplier goes bust?”. We’re here to answer that question.

Read through our guide to understand what you need to do now to look after your energy supply, your tariff, and your credit/debt.

1.     Don’t Worry and Don’t Switch.

If your supplier has gone bust, the first thing to remember is not to panic. Your energy supply will not be cut off. This is true regardless of whether you are on a fixed tariff, a prepayment meter, or a repayment plan.

Ofgem will work to either find you a new supplier or, in special circumstances, find an administrator to manage your current supplier (Bulb is the only company to go into administration so far). In either case, you do not need to switch supplier yourself and you do not need to cancel any direct debits. This way, any credit will be protected, and the price cap will still apply to your new tariff.

If you were in the process of switching providers before they went under, your switch will continue as planned without disruption.

2.     Wait For Your New Supplier to Contact You.

When Ofgem has found you a new supplier, you will be contacted by them. Or, if Ofgem are appointing an administrator, your existing supplier will contact you to update you on the situation. Ofgem will work to get this sorted as soon as possible.

In the meantime, Citizen’s Advice encourages you to take a meter reading, screenshot your account balance, and keep hold of any old bills. If you can’t access your account balance online then don’t worry, your new supplier will provide an assessment of your account credit/debt.

3.     Compare Tariffs After You Have Been Given a New Supplier.

If you are given a new supplier, you will automatically be put on a ‘deemed’ contract, meaning a contract you haven’t chosen. Deemed contracts are protected by the Energy Price Cap and you can leave whenever you like without facing penalty charges. So, it’s best to let things settle, see what your new energy supplier is offering you, and then shop around if you’d like to find a better deal.

If your supplier goes into special administration, like Bulb, your tariff will stay the same.

What Happens to Any Credit or Debt on My Account?

Any credit will be protected as Ofgem switches your supplier. Your new provider will be able to give you more information on your account balance and, if you decide to leave the deemed contract with them, you will be refunded your credit.

If you are paying back debt, then it depends on what deal Ofgem can negotiate with your new supplier. It may be that the new provider will take on those debts for you. However, if not, you will still need to pay back your debt to your old supplier. Your new provider will be able to give you more information on this once they have taken on your account.

What Happens to My Warm Home Discount?

Those in the scheme’s ‘core’ group will continue to receive the Warm Home Discount. Ofgem are working hard to ensure minimal disruption to people facing financial difficulties as they’re aware this could be a very worrying time.

If you are in the broader group for the scheme, you will be able to reapply through your new provider. Once they have contacted you, you will be able to go to them for more details.

What Happens to My Smart Export Guarantee?

If you were on an SEG tariff to get paid for any energy you generate, you will be responsible for finding a new tariff with another SEG licensed provider. You are advised to do so as soon as possible because they have no obligation to pay you for energy generated between contracts.

For more questions about what to do if your energy supplier goes bust, please head to the Ofgem FAQ page.

This whole situation might be making you wonder what you can do to future-proof your energy supply. We can help with that! Check out our blog on how you can become your own energy supplier through the power of solar.

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Justine Effective
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