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Together Energy ceases trading – here's what it means for your gas and electricity

Together Energy, including its subsidiary Bristol Energy, has ceased trading. In total, the two brands have about 176,000 household customers between them. If you're affected, your supply will continue and credit balances are protected. While it's likely you'll pay more now, there are no savings to be had by switching.

Energy regulator Ofgem will now start the process of choosing a new supplier to take on customers supplied by Together Energy and Bristol Energy. In the meantime, your supply will continue as normal.

Once appointed, 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 due to unprecedented wholesale costs (the price energy providers pay for gas and electricity), even if you can switch there is nothing on the market meaningfully cheaper right now than Ofgem's price cap, which standard default tariffs follow.

The supplier is the 23rd provider to go bust or enter administration since last September as a result of the ongoing energy crisis.

A new provider will be appointed to take over your supply – sit tight and wait for it to contact you

If you're a customer of Together Energy or Bristol Energy:

  • You can't save by switching now anyway – but even if you could, most shouldn't. While switching is possible, 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. Most shouldn't switch anyway – see Martin's Is it worth ditching the price cap for a fix? analysis for more.

  • 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 or app as soon as possible and grab the info now, so you have a record of it.

  • When a new supplier's appointed, you'll be moved to a new deal – which will follow the price cap. 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 if you were on a cheap fix.

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 Together Energy or Bristol Energy 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 still have to pay it. Payments will either go to the bust supplier, its administrator or to the new supplier. The new supplier will let you know how this works once it has taken 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 (and it's probably easier if you don't). Ofgem says your new supplier will contact you soon to explain how it will take on your account, including any direct debit arrangements.

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.

Be aware – we've heard that some who have cancelled their direct debit after their supplier went bust have been moved on to the higher-priced 'standard credit' price cap (which covers all other methods of payment apart from direct debit), rather than the cheaper direct debit price cap.

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

If you've already started to switch away from Together Energy or Bristol Energy, 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 one of these firms, the switch should go through as planned, although you will then be automatically switched to the new supplier Ofgem appoints.

What does Ofgem say?

Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, 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 affected customers that they do not need to worry, under our safety net we'll make sure your energy supplies continue. 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."

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