On Wednesday, industry regulator Ofgem said three more energy companies – Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy – had gone bust. This brings the total number of firms that have collapsed this month to 10, as the soaring cost of wholesale gas renders smaller companies unable to stay afloat. So, with the cost of gas about to go up, what should the consumer be doing here?
Will your bills go up?
All energy suppliers have to honour a price cap – the maximum they can charge customers on their standard variable tariffs.
On October 1, this price cap will rise to 12 percent for some 15 million households in England, Wales and Scotland.
In Northern Ireland, which is a separate market with two suppliers, prices will also rise next month – by 21.8 percent (SSE) and 35 percent (Firmus).
READ MORE: Gas prices to remain ‘exceptionally high’ until 2023
How much will bills rise?
Those on standard tariffs could see an increase of £139, from £1,138 to £1,277 a year
People with pre-payment meters could see an increase of £153, from £1,156 to £1,309
Households on fixed tariffs will be unaffected, but those coming to the end of a contract will probably be unable to find a cheap deal to replace it
Should you switch supplier now?
Plenty of customers with smaller energy firms are considering moving to one of the safer ‘big six’ energy firms – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE.
However, experts have said there is no sense in making the switch now.
The industry has largely seized up, meaning hardly any suppliers are taking on new customers anyway.
If you do, you’ll just end up paying the price cap as set by Ofgem, which is all you’ll do if your smaller supplier goes bust anyway.
What happens if your supplier goes bust?
If your supplier goes bust, you’ll automatically be moved to one of the big suppliers.
Your gas or electricity won’t be cut off – however, your bills could go up.
Make sure you take meter readings the moment you’re notified of any changes to your supply.
The customers of Utility Point, which failed earlier this month, have all been moved over to EDF.
Customers of People’s Energy, another collapsed firm, were told that they are being moved to British Gas.
Avro customers will be taken over by Octopus, while Shell Energy is to take on all Green’s account holders.
Customers of the three firms that collapsed on Wednesday, Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy, will learn in the coming days who they will be switched to by Ofgem.