There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding energy prices with some consumers unsure what to do if their energy supplier goes bust or are worried that this might happen. Citizens Advice in East Dorset & Purbeck has the following advice to consumers.
You can also listen to Laura Wilcox, our Specialist Energy Adviser being interviewed on BBC Radio Solent below.
Why is this energy crisis happening?
The uncertainty surrounding the energy market is a result of rising wholesale gas prices and some UK specific issues like some nuclear plants being off line and low winds reducing renewable electricity. This has resulted in many energy suppliers going bust, leaving consumers unsure what to do.
It’s essential that people understand what will happen if their energy supplier fails, and for the Government and Ofgem to ensure people are fully protected throughout this process.
What do I do if my energy supplier has gone bust?
If your current energy supplier has gone bust, don’t panic. Your gas and electricity supply won’t be cut off.
Take a meter reading and find your most recent bill which will inform you if you are in credit.
Credit balances will be protected — any money you have with your supplier is protected, though refunds can take time.
Ofgem will contact you and will transfer you to a new supplier. Unfortunately, higher wholesale prices mean the price you pay is likely to increase. The good news is that the Government has confirmed it will keep the price cap in place. This limits how big the increase in price can be.
When your new supplier contacts you, ask to be put on their cheapest tariff. They will explain how they will manage your account and any credit balance you may have. You can shop around and switch suppliers if you want to and you won’t be charged an exit fee; but only do this once your new supplier is in place.
Laura Wilcox, Specialist Energy Adviser, Citizens Advice in East Dorset & Purbeck, said: “This can be a really worrying time, especially for people who are already struggling financially. We have a team of Energy Advisers who can help people who are experiencing financial difficulties with their energy costs”.
More advice can be found on the Citizens Advice website including if your energy supplier has gone bust and who has taken over your energy supply.
Free support is available by calling the Dorset Adviceline on 0800 144 8848 or visit edpcitizensadvice.org.uk