If your energy supplier goes bust, don't panic. You'll be moved to a new supplier and you won’t be cut off in the meantime.
Our guidance below provides more information on what happens when energy suppliers go out of business. If you're a business energy customer, view our guidance here: If your business energy supplier goes bust
If your supplier has gone bust
Take a meter reading, sit tight and don’t switch
You will continue to move to your chosen supplier if you already have a switch in progress.
Wait for Ofgem to appoint a new supplier
You don’t need to do anything, and your supply won’t be disrupted. Ofgem’s safety net will protect your supply and any credit balance. It should only take a few days for your new supplier to be appointed
Your new supplier will start you off on a special ‘deemed’ contract. These can be more expensive, so your bills could go up, but Ofgem will try to get the best possible deal. You’re not locked into the deemed contract – you can change tariff or supplier at any time.
When your new supplier contacts you
Ask your new supplier to put you on their cheapest tariff, or shop around and switch if you want to. You won’t be charged exit fees. Your new supplier will explain how they'll manage your account balance, including any credit refunds.
Your new supplier
We’ll make a decision on your new supplier as soon as possible and announce the details on our website and social media. It should only take us a few days to appoint a new supplier.
Our advice is to sit tight in the meantime, don’t switch and wait until the new supplier contacts you. This will make sure the process is as hassle-free as possible, including returning any credit balance you may have.
There will be no disruption to your energy supply and you won't be cut off.
In exceptional circumstances, Ofgem and government may appoint an administrator to run your supplier if it gets into financial difficulty. If this happens, you don’t need to do anything – you'll continue to receive energy from your supplier and they'll contact you to let you know what's happening.
If your new supplier can’t operate your smart meter in smart mode it will continue to work, but as a traditional meter. This means you may need to take meter readings manually and submit them to your new supplier.
If you choose to shop around, your meter may work in smart mode again in the future depending on the tariff or supplier you move to.
You should still be able to top up your prepayment meter as you would normally while we appoint a new supplier for you. Once we appoint a new supplier, they'll be able to advise on new and replacement key cards and tokens. In the meantime, you shouldn’t lose supply.
Citizens Advice, or Advice Direct Scotland if you are in Scotland can offer support if:
- You're having problems topping up or your card or token won’t work
- Your prepayment meter has stopped working and you have no power
- You can’t afford to top up a prepayment meter and need emergency credit
For Citizens Advice:
For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.
For Advice Direct Scotland:
You can also find further information about government and charity schemes, grants and benefits in our help with energy bills guide.
Government and social schemes
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2022/23 has closed. The scheme reopens in October 2023.
We will work closely with suppliers to make sure customers who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit can continue to automatically receive the discount in the event of supplier failure while the scheme is running.
Other customers who get the Warm Home Discount will be able to reapply for the discount if their supplier fails and they are switched.
Once we've appointed a new supplier, you should contact them for details.
Smart Export Guarantee tariff
If you have a Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff you're responsible for seeking a new SEG tariff for exported electricity, as one won't be appointed on your behalf. You can view a list of current licensees here: SEG Licensees.
We advise you to act promptly so that you can continue to receive SEG payments. A new SEG Licensee will only be able make payments for exported electricity once your new SEG contract is in place.
What will happen to my Feed-in Tariff?
If you had a Feed-in tariff (FIT), your FIT payments won't automatically transfer.
Your new supplier will contact you to confirm your tariff information. They must also confirm if they are a FIT licensee. You may need to find another FIT supplier to continue to receive payments if the new supplier is not a FIT licensee. View the current list of FIT licensees.
Complaints and contacts
Complaints lodged with your old supplier
Your new supplier isn't required to take on complaints relating to your old supplier.
If the complaint relates to an ongoing issue, you can discuss this with the new supplier when they contact you.
If your complaint was open with the Ombudsman, they'll contact with you in due course to discuss next steps.
In England and Wales, Citizens Advice can offer further advice if you need it.
- Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat.
- For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.
In Scotland, Advice Direct Scotland can help.
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