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Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy and Enstroga cease trading – here's what it means for your gas and electricity

Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy and Enstroga, which combined have more than 230,000 customers, have become the latest energy providers to cease trading – making a total of nine suppliers to go bust this month. If you're a customer of these failed firms, 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 Igloo Energy (179,000 customers), Symbio (48,000 customers) and Enstroga (6,000 customers) 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 the firms' customers. Once it appoints these new suppliers, you'll be contacted about transferring your account over, and be told what happens next. Once your account is transferred, you are free to switch away, though with prices at record highs right now due to soaring wholesale costs (the price energy providers pay for gas and electricity), it's unlikely you'll save by switching. But you can then use our free Cheap Energy Club to check.

The news follows the failure of PFP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, Utility Point, People's Energy, Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited (not to be confused with separate supplier Green Energy UK), which have all ceased trading since the start of the September. In total, just over 1.7 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.

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

If you're a customer of one of these firms:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Download your energy bills / screenshot credit amounts. When a firm goes bust, websites can go offline, so head to the firm's website as soon as possible and grab the info now, so you have a record of it.

  • 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 at the price cap, so it's likely your bills will go up. However, there are no deals cheaper than this for new customers right now, so you are unlikely to save by switching.

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 Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga 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 firm 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 Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga, the administrator or to the new supplier. The new supplier will let you know how this works once it has 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 Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga, 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 Igloo, Symbio or Enstroga, 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 Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy that they do not need to worry. Under our safety net, we'll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you have credit on your Enstroga, Igloo Energy or Symbio Energy account, the funds you have paid in are protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.

"Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you and, while we are doing this, our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your tariff.

"Any customer worried about paying their energy bill should contact their supplier to access the range of support that is available."

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