Two million households have seen their energy firm collapse because of soaring gas prices.
What are your rights if this happens to you?
Which energy suppliers are going bust?
Pure Planet and Colorado Energy are the latest firms to stop trading.
Others had already gone out of business: Avro, Enstroga, Green, Hub, Igloo Energy, Money Plus, People’s Energy, PFP, Symbio Energy and Utility Point. There are fears more could still follow.
Firms have struggled because they offered customers cheap fixed deals. That means they can’t pass on the cost of soaring gas prices.
What happens if my energy supplier collapses?
If your energy provider goes bust, you will still receive gas and electricity.
Your account will be moved to a new supplier by energy regulator Ofgem.
You can’t chose the provider and may end up on a more expensive tariff.
Ofgem has sent customers of failed firms to the following suppliers:
The regulator hasn’t yet said what will happen to Pure Planet and Colorado Energy customers.
What do I need to do?
Citizens Advice recommends making a note or taking a photo of your meter reading and downloading any bills, while waiting for your new supplier.
There’s no need to cancel direct debits before your new account is set up.
If you’re in credit, the balance will be added to your account with your new supplier. However, this may take several weeks.
If you’re in debt to a company which has stopped trading, you still have to pay the money you owe. You will be contacted by its administrators, or the supplier which takes over its business.
Will I still be able to find a cheap deal?
Usually, consumers are encouraged to shop around when energy bills rise. But at the moment better offers simply aren’t available.
Price comparison sites are offering fewer energy deals at the moment, and some – such as Compare The Market – are offering none at all.
Look After My Bills has paused its operations, and Flipper has closed down completely.
People already on fixed deals are advised to stay put.
Those coming to the end of fixed deals will be moved on to higher standard tariffs.
A tariff set at the price cap limit – the maximum price suppliers can charge customers on a standard deal – will be the most competitive.
Instead of searching for a cheaper deal, the Energy Saving Trust says simple changes to our homes and energy habits could help offset the current price rises.
What’s the energy price cap?
About 15 million households in England, Wales and Scotland were already facing a 12% rise in their energy bills from 1 October, when a higher energy price cap began.
The energy price cap sets the maximum price suppliers can charge customers on a standard – or default – tariff.
The cap means energy suppliers can’t pass on all of the recent gas price increases.
In Northern Ireland, a separate market with two suppliers, prices will also rise in October by 21.8% (SSE) and 35% (firmus).
Why are gas prices so high?
A worldwide squeeze on gas and energy supplies has meant gas prices in the UK, Europe and Asia have risen 250% since January.
Supplies of renewable energy in Great Britain are also down after the least windy summer since 1961.
A recent fire at a National Grid site in Kent closed a power cable supplying electricity from France.
Rising gas prices have also led to a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is widely used in the food and drink industry.
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