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Energy firm gone bust? How your new firm and tariff stacks up

Energy firm gone bust? How your new firm and tariff stacks up

Nine energy suppliers have gone bust in recent weeks, including Igloo, Symbio, Avro and People's Energy, leaving over 1.7 million energy customers needing a new supplier. Ofgem has now appointed a provider to take over for each of these – we've analysis of what it means for your energy bill, and how the new supplier stacks up to the old one below. 

The energy market is in crisis, with prices firms pay for energy rocketing to record highs in recent weeks. As a result, a number of firms have struggled, and unfortunately nine have ceased trading since the beginning of September.

If your supplier has gone bust, the key message is don't panic – your gas and electricity will stay on and any credit balance you have is safe. Ofgem has now announced the 'supplier of last resort' that will take on customers of these failed suppliers, and yours will soon be in touch (if it hasn't been already) with information on your new tariff and what happens next.

How does my new tariff and supplier compare to my old firm?

Sadly, as a result of rocketing prices, you're likely going to pay more than you have been, particularly as most people would have been on cheap fixed deals. All the tariffs people will be moved across to are variable tariffs with no exit fees, priced at the max allowed, or just under the price cap. While not cheap, on average there are no deals for new customers that are meaningfully cheaper now due to the dire state of the market, so for most there's no need to do anything.

However, the price cap is likely to rise substantially in April, so make sure you check if you can switch and save before then.

How your new supplier and tariff compares to your old firm

Provider Average prices/yr (1) Service rating

Was: Avro Energy

 

Now: Octopus Energy 'Flexible Octopus October 2021 v2'

£870 - £1,040

 

£1,266 

3.8/5

 

4.2/5

Was: Green

 

Now: Shell Energy 'Flexible 6'

£810 - £1,290

 

£1,277

3.8/5

 

3.2/5

Was: Igloo Energy 

 

Now: E.on Next 'Next Flex'

£1,229 (2)

 

£1,277

4/5

 

3.1/5 (3)

Was: People's Energy

 

Now: British Gas 'The People's Tariff'

£920 - £1,340

 

£1,277

3/5

 

3/5

Was: PFP Energy

 

Now: British Gas 'Price Promise Apr 2022'

£830 - £1,170

 

£1,277

-

 

3/5

Was: Symbio Energy (elec only)

 

Now: E.on Next 'Next Flex' (elec only)

£396 - £532 

 

£694 (4)

-

 

3.1/5

Was: Utility Point

 

Now: EDF Energy 'Welcome'

£830 - £1,120

 

£1,277

3.3/5

 

3.7/5

Based on Ofgem figures for medium dual-fuel use, paying by monthly direct debit. (1) We've taken a range of each provider's fixed deals, from cheapest to most expensive, between last September and July 2021 (which covers most switches), based on typical use. (2) Igloo Energy only offered one variable tariff – this was the final price of that tariff. (3) E.on Next is a new brand of E.on. Its customer service rating is for E.on as a whole, as we don't have enough feedback on the Next brand. (4) Symbio was an elec-only firm, so this is based on the electricity portion of Ofgem's figures for medium dual-fuel use.

If you were with MoneyPlus Energy or Enstroga, as they were very small suppliers and were not always on comparison sites, we don't have historical pricing. If you were with MoneyPlus Energy, you'll be moved on to British Gas's 'Price Promise Apr 2022', the same tariff those with PFP Energy will be moved on to. If you were with Enstroga, you'll be moved on to E.on Next's 'Next Flex', the same tariff as those with Igloo will be moved on to

How do I find out exactly how much more I'll be paying?

Exactly how much you'll be paying depends on how much you use and where you live, but it's easy to get a rough idea via our Cheap Energy Club.

We list all of these suppliers in the club, so you can choose them as your current tariff and do a comparison against that. Luckily, this can help give you an idea of how much you'll pay on your new tariff. Here's how:

  • Step 1: Go to Cheap Energy Club and select the tariff you were on (if you're already a member, it should be there automatically). If you're an existing Cheap Energy Club member, just log in and you'll see what you pay now when you do a comparison. If we've not switched you – for instance, if you've switched direct on the provider's site – we won't know who you are with, so you'll need to go to your account and tell us. If you're not a Cheap Energy Club member, create an account and then choose your old tariff as your current tariff in your account. Run a comparison, and at the top of the page we'll show you how much you're paying on your current tariff. Take a note of that figure.

  • Step 2: Choose your new provider's standard tariff in your account. Head back to your account page, then change your current provider to the supplier that will be taking over your account. Make sure you have its standard tariff selected as your current tariff as well (it should do it automatically, but check). Again, do a comparison and check the top of the page, where we show how much you're paying on your current tariff. Jot that down.

  • Step 3: Compare the two. You should now have a figure for how much you would have paid over a year on your old tariff, and how much you'll pay over a year on your new provider's standard tariff. As the new tariffs for most of the bust suppliers largely follow the price cap (though Octopus is slightly under), this will give you a rough idea of how much more you'll be paying.

Is this the cheapest deal, or should I be switching?

All the deals for people with bust suppliers are at, or around, the new price cap from 1 October. There is nothing on the market meaningfully cheaper right now, so for most there is no need to switch. You can do a comparison now if you like, but you almost certainly won't find anything cheaper, as explained by Martin in MSE's weekly email.

We're working on getting these new tariffs into our Cheap Energy Club, but if you really want to do a comparison now, go to Cheap Energy Club and select the new provider's standard tariff as your current tariff in your account. As these new tariffs will, for the most part, follow each provider's standard tariff, you should then get an accurate comparison (though it may be slightly off for Octopus).

Energy credit is protected even if you left the company recently – so you won't lose any money you're owed

You may be owed money by your old supplier if your account had built up credit. In this scenario, the supplier Ofgem appoints will pay you back any money you're owed – this applies even if you'd already started to switch away before the firms went under. Here, the Ofgem-appointed supplier should get in touch to arrange a refund – even for those who won't have been switched to it – but this can take a while.

If you owe money, you will likely still have to pay it. Payments will either go to your former supplier, the administrator or to the new supplier. The new supplier will let you know how this works once it's taken over.

If you are in the process of switching, your switch will still go through

If you've already started to switch away from a bust supplier, you will continue to be moved to the new supplier you have chosen. You should not need to do anything. Your direct debit to your current supplier should be cancelled automatically, but check anyway, and if not, cancel it manually after your switch completes. Any outstanding credit will be paid to you by the supplier Ofgem has appointed to take over.

If you're in the process of switching to one of the bust firms, the switch should go through as planned, although you will then be automatically switched to the new supplier Ofgem has appointed to take over.

You don't need to cancel your direct debit, but it's fine if you already have

There's no immediate need to cancel your direct debit. Ofgem says your new supplier will contact you soon to explain how it will take on your account, including any direct debit arrangements.

Ofgem says you can cancel your direct debit before the new supplier contacts you if you want to though. If you've already cancelled it, there's no need to reinstate it, and your new supplier will explain what to do once it gets in touch with you.

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