What are your rights if your energy supplier goes bust?
Bulb, the UK’s sixth-largest energy supplier, is at risk of collapse amidst the current ‘energy crisis’. The company, with 1.7 million customers, is working with the investment bank Lazard to try to shore up its balance sheet.
Whilst Bulb is the largest energy company battling to avoid going bust, four smaller UK companies are expected to go out of business next week. People’s Energy and Utility Point both collapsed late last week, requiring the energy regulator, Ofgem, to step in to protect customers.
Advice to customers
It’s safe to say, it’s a concerning time for customers, who rely on gas and electricity to heat their homes. Last week, two energy suppliers, Utility Point and People’s Energy, announced they were ceasing to trade. Utility Point had 220,000 domestic customers, whilst People’s Energy had 350,000 domestic customers and around 1,000 non-domestic customers.
IS MY SUPPLY AND CREDIT PROTECTED?
One thing we do know though is that all customers were protected under Ofgem’s safety net, which means the energy supply for customers will continue and all outstanding credit balances of domestic customers will be protected.
WHO SUPPLIES ME NOW?
Customers will be contacted by a new supplier, who will be chosen by Ofgem. Utility Point customers have already been informed that EDF will be taking over their supply. If no new supplier can be found, special administrators will be contacted by Ofgem and the Government.
Ofgem’s current advice to customers in the meantime is to:
- Not switch to another energy supplier until a new one has been appointed and you have been contacted by them in the following weeks
- Take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you
This will make the process of transferring customers over to the chosen supplier, and paying back any outstanding credit balances, as smooth as possible.
WHAT IS BULB DOING?
It’s important to note that Bulb has not collapsed yet, which means your supply is still coming from Bulb, and that Bulb is still in control of all of your credit.
Bulb is hoping for a cash injection from investors but is also looking at a Government bailout and considering a joint venture or merger with other suppliers.