Martin Lewis: Take weekly screen grabs of your online energy account in case your supplier goes bust
In the first episode of a new series of his live ITV show, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has urged households to take a screenshot of their online energy account now in case their provider goes bust. His warning comes after six energy suppliers ceased trading this month as the price firms pay for gas and electricity soars to new highs.
The clip above has been taken from The Martin Lewis Money Show on Thursday 23 September 2021, with the kind permission of ITV Studios. All rights reserved. You can turn on subtitles by selecting the keyboard image at the bottom right of the video. You can also watch the full episode on the ITV Hub.
Take screen grabs of your energy account in case your provider goes bust
On this week's The Martin Lewis Money Show, which aired yesterday (23 September), Martin encouraged viewers to keep a weekly record of their energy account in case their supplier goes under. He said: “If you can, log in to your energy firm’s site and take a screen grab of how much credit you have got and what your bill is.
“The reason for that is that when a company goes bust, it often takes the website offline so you won’t have a record anymore and that could become difficult if you want to keep records of your past credit. So, take a screen grab; keep records of it.”
Here's how to download or take a screen grab of your online bill:
- The process of downloading bills differs by energy provider. However, typically you'll need to log in to your online energy account, locate your most recent statement and check if there's an option to download it to your device.
- If there's no option to download your statement, you can take a screenshot. How to do this varies by device, so you may need to check if you're unsure. As an example:
- On an Android phone: Press the power and volume down button at the same time. This will automatically save the screenshot as an image to your photos folder.
- On an Apple laptop or desktop computer: Hold 'Shift', 'command' and '4' together, then select the area you want to screenshot. Your screenshot will then automatically save to your downloads file.
- On an Apple iPhone: With a current or newer model, press the lock and volume up buttons at the same time. On older models, press both the home and lock buttons at the same time. This will automatically save the screenshot as an image to your photos folder.
- On a Windows laptop or desktop computer: Press 'Alt' and 'PrtScn' together. This will copy the page you are after, but you will then need to paste it into a document, such as Word, in order to save it.
More suppliers could go bust in future
Martin's warning comes as six energy providers have gone bust this month - Avro Energy, Green, PFP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, Utility Point and People's Energy - and these might not be the last. He said: "Some business experts have said up to 25 more firms will go under, some of them with millions of customers.
"This isn’t about small firms, it's about mid to big ones too. There may only be 10 or less energy firms left if the wholesale gas rate doesn’t drop quite soon. So get your screen grabs and do it every week while we’re still in the midst of this crisis."
Where a supplier goes bust and your account has built up credit, energy regulator Ofgem will appoint a new supplier that 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're on a cheap fix you're likely to be better off sticking with it
This week's show also saw Martin answer viewers' key questions on energy bills:
- One viewer, called Lucy, tweeted in and asked if she should switch from her current provider Bulb. In reply, Martin said: "Well there have been reports it is in discussion about its financial situation.
"The truth is, you're on a price cap tariff because Bulb a variable provider, and if you left to go elsewhere the cheapest you can get is the same price cap tariff so it makes very little difference. There's a hassle if you move, there's a hassle if you don’t move. It's neither hither or tither on that."
- Martin's co-presenter Angellica Bell then asked whether people should switch if they're on a cheap fixed deal but are concerned their provider may go bust. Martin said: "We don’t know what firms are going to go bust, that’s the problem, we only know when they do go bust.
"But if you're on a cheap fix, well I'd just stick on it as long as you can - yes, even if it is going to go bust. If you get an extra three weeks at super cheap prices you'll be moved to the price cap afterwards anyway, so take the cheap prices while you can."