You may have seen the news recently about energy suppliers Extra Energy and Spark Energy going out of business.
If you’re with one of these suppliers or are worried about what to do if your supplier goes bust, then we’re here to help!
We’ve put together a guide so you know exactly what happens now and how you can feel supported by Look After My Bills.
Will I lose my electricity or gas supply?
You can be safe in the knowledge that you will not lose your gas or electricity supply. Ofgem has a ‘safety net’ process which means they will pass on your supply to another supplier.
This new supplier is known as a supplier of last resort (SoLR).
It can be a little worrying to hear your energy supplier has gone out of business. But in reality, the only real difference you’ll see is that your bills will come from a different supplier.
When will I know who it is? And how does Ofgem choose?
Usually within a few days of the failed supplier announcing they have ceased trading, Ofgem will announce who the new supplier will be.
Ofgem has strict criteria it expects the new supplier to meet. For example, they need to prove their ability to manage the new customer accounts as effectively as it does with its current customers and to offer a competitive deal.
You can read advice from Scottish Power by clicking here.
And more from Ovo Energy by clicking here.
Is there anything I need to do?
First and foremost, take a meter reading as soon as possible. Your new supplier will need this information.
Check out our blog on everything you need to know about meter readings here.
For Extra Energy customers, you can submit a meter reading online on Scottish Power’s website.
For Spark Energy customers, you can call Spark Energy directly on 0345 034 7474 or log-in to your online account at My Account.
What tariff will I be moved on to?
You will be moved on to what’s known as a ‘deemed tariff’. This will aim to match the rates you were on with the previous supplier.
However, with the cost of taking on new customers at late notice, your bill price might go up. (For Spark Energy customers they’ve confirmed this isn’t the case).
It therefore may not be the best deal you could be on. It will not have exit fees so you are free to leave at any point.
If you are with Look After My Bills, we take care of everything for you. We will update your details automatically to the new supplier and tariff information. We will then run regular checks to make sure you are on the best deal.
If you are not yet signed up with us but would like to be then just as soon as you know what tariff you’re on, sign up by heading to our homepage and we can do the same for you!
What happens with the credit on my account?
If you have any credit on your account from the failed supplier, Ofgem has a system in place to ensure that money gets back to you. The new supplier will honour any outstanding credit balances.
It may take a bit of time to reimburse this after the dust has settled.
If you were with Extra Energy you will need to go to Scottish Power directly with any questions you might have about the account. Their customer helpline is 0800 074 0471.
If you were with Spark Energy, you can still contact Spark Energy. Why? Because Ovo Energy has chosen to keep the Spark brand 0345 034 7474.
Please note that Spark Energy’s lines are apparently (and understandably) very busy at the moment.
I had debt on my account – what happens to that?
If you have any outstanding debt on your account, then you may be contacted by the administrators of the failed supplier to sort a repayment plan.
Should I cancel my direct debit?
We recommend you do not cancel your direct debit until the new supplier has been in touch with you. They should be able to simply transfer the direct debit details across to your new account.
I have a prepayment meter. Will my key or card still work?
You can keep using your current payment device until your new one arrives. When it does, we recommend you start using it immediately so the new supplier can keep track of the payments you make and the energy you use.