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Avro Energy and Green cease trading – here's what it means for your gas and electricity

Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited have become the fifth and sixth energy providers to cease trading this month alone, affecting more than 800,000 households between the two firms. If you're with either company, your energy supply will continue and credit balances are protected. But DON'T switch now – sit tight and wait until your new supplier has contacted you. 

Households supplied by Avro Energy, which has about 580,000 customers, and Green, which has around 255,000 customers (and which is not to be confused with separate supplier Green Energy), will be transferred to a yet-to-be-announced new supplier. In the meantime, your supply will continue as normal and energy regulator Ofgem says any credit balances will be protected.

Ofgem will now start the process of choosing new suppliers to take on both firms' customers. Once it appoints these new suppliers, you'll be contacted about transferring your account over to one, and be told what happens next. Once your account is transferred, you can switch away, and though prices are at record highs right now due to soaring wholesale costs (the price energy providers pay for gas and electricity), it's worth checking you're on the best possible deal then – use our free Cheap Energy Club to see if you can save.

The news follows the failure of PFP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy, which ceased trading two weeks ago, and Utility Point and People's Energy, which went bust last week. In total, just shy of 1.5 million households have been affected by supplier failures this month, with more tipped to follow in what is an unprecedented time for the energy market.

See our latest weekly email for founder Martin Lewis's energy crisis emergency help. Martin will also take you through step-by-step energy help in his new ITV The Martin Lewis Money Show series, which restarts tomorrow (Thursday 23 September) at 8.30pm.

DON'T switch now – sit tight and wait to be contacted by the new supplier

If you're an Avro Energy or Green customer:

  • Don't switch to another supplier until a new one has been appointed. Ofgem says you should wait until you've been contacted by the new supplier in the coming weeks, as you could have issues with your switch otherwise, as Avro Energy and Green will be transferring customers on mass.

  • Do take a meter reading. It'll be useful to have it ready for when your new supplier contacts you. You should do this whether you're a credit meter or prepayment customer.

  • When a new supplier's appointed, you'll likely be moved to a new deal – which may cost more. Ofgem says it's likely your current deal will end and you'll be moved to a special 'deemed' contract (a tariff you won't have chosen). These tend to be pricey, so it's possible your bills will go up.

  • Once you've been moved across, check if you can save by switching. You can ask the new supplier to put you on a cheaper tariff, but you can also move away to another provider without being charged any exit fees, so it's best to do a whole-of-market comparison – which you can do on Cheap Energy Club – to ensure you find the best deal for you.

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 Avro Energy or Green 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 Avro Energy or Green, 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 either Avro Energy or Green, 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 appoints – see above for more.

If you're in the process of switching to Avro Energy or Green, the switch should go through as planned, although you will then be automatically switched to the new supplier Ofgem appoints.

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.

What does Ofgem say?

Ofgem director of retail Neil Lawrence said: "Ofgem's number one priority is to protect customers. We know this is a worrying time for many people and news of a supplier going out of business can be unsettling.

"I want to reassure customers of Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited that they do not need to worry. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, which will then get in touch about your tariff."

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