My energy supplier went bust and my account credit has vanished… how long should the transfer to a new company take and who do I contact?
- Many energy providers have ceased trading recently due to rising costs
- Some who recently moved from a collapsed supplier are still waiting for credit
- This is causing problems as they are unable to contact their old energy firm
- We explain how to get your money back and what to do if you don’t
I moved energy supplier around a month ago after finding a better deal on a comparison website.
Shortly after I switched, my old provider went bust, due to the current energy crisis.
I had around £200 in credit with my old supplier that has not been moved over to my new account and as they have now ceased trading, there is no one I can get in contact with.
How can I ensure my money will be moved to my new provider?
Some customers are still waiting for credit to be moved over from their old energy supplier
Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: There has been a lot of turmoil in the energy market in recent times, as a large number of suppliers have gone bust thanks to rising wholesale costs.
As a result, many consumers are concerned about whether their own provider will cease trading and how this will affect not only their supply, but also their finances.
Energy regulator Ofgem has assured customers their credit balances will be protected if their existing supplier folds.
But those who are waiting for their money to be sent over from a former provider that has since ceased trading, are concerned about the safety of their money.
Unfortunately, some still haven’t received a payment, weeks after switching suppliers – and they are now unable to contact their old provider for information.
As a result they are unsure about how to find out when they can expect the credit to hit their new account.
This is especially important in the winter months when households typically use more energy, with many relying on the credit to help them pay their bills.
Any customers worried about their credit should speak to their current energy provider
This is Money contacted Ofgem to find out what customers can do if they find themselves in this position.
A spokesperson confirmed the funds that both former and current customers had paid into their accounts will be protected, if they are in credit.
This does not include promotional credit, such as bonuses a supplier may have given them for signing up.
Ofgem said the new supplier would review details of any debt or credit on a customers account, and contact them with relevant instructions.
The new provider will also be able to answer any questions consumers may have about the debt or credit on their account, it added.
However, it did admit the review process may take some time, as new suppliers will need to receive and process a customers records, as well as calculating their credit balance, before deducting any unbilled charges for their supply by their former provider.
If customers believe they have been waiting too long for their credit, it is worth getting in touch with their current supplier to see if they can advise them about how long they may have to wait.
Consumers who were in the process of switching away from a supplier when it went bust should wait to hear from the provider that has taken over the old customers.
If your switch went through and you’ve already paid in advance for your energy, your money is protected.
The supplier that’s taken over the supplier that went bust should pay you back any money you’re owed.
What is the energy crisis?
The crisis has been sparked by a number of factors, but is ultimately due to the lack of natural gas being produced as well as an increase in demand.
Demand has rebounded quicker than expected after the global pandemic, but reserves have been slow to refill over this summer with supply from Russia lower than predicted.
The circumstances have not been helped by last winter being much longer and colder than normal.
There has also been a lower output from renewable sources such as solar power and wind, creating more reliance on gas.
As a result, wholesale costs have gone up – meaning suppliers are passing on the added cost to customers.
Many smaller suppliers have been unable to keep up with the costs and have therefore ceased trading.