29 September 2021
Am I going to be left without power if my supplier goes bust, or do I have to find a new supplier myself?
No, you don’t need to find a supplier yourself. Even if your supplier stops operating, Ofgem – as the independent energy regulator – will automatically switch you onto a new supplier so there will be no interruption to your supply of energy.
It isn’t unusual for energy suppliers to exit the market. We have a well-rehearsed system in place to protect households and ensure our gas and electricity keeps running.
If I join a new supplier, aren’t my energy bills going to increase?
Customers of failed suppliers who are switched to a new supplier are protected by the Energy Price Cap.
This is a Government scheme which protects millions of people from sudden increases in global gas prices. The cap sets the maximum price for standing charges and each unit of gas and electricity used by customers on default energy tariffs - whether you pay by direct debit, prepayment meter or standard credit.
Suppliers cannot charge customers of failed suppliers more than the level of the price cap.
Major energy suppliers also buy much of their wholesale supplies many months in advance, giving protection to them and their customers from short-term price spikes.
There are also numerous other schemes available to support vulnerable and low-income households including the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. Find out more in help with energy bills.
Is the energy price cap going to massively increase this winter?
Ofgem reviews the Energy Price Cap twice a year based on the latest estimated costs of supplying energy. We announced in the summer that from 1 October, the cap would rise due to higher wholesale gas prices. Since then wholesale gas prices have increased significantly.
However, the next time the price cap is due to be updated is April 2022 which means customers who it protects needn’t worry about it increasing before then.
Is there enough gas?
You don’t need to worry. While global wholesale gas prices are currently high we are confident, alongside Government, that the UK’s security of energy supply is secure now and over the winter. Government explains more behind the increase in wholesale global gas prices in their guide on GOV.UK.
Why don’t we store more gas in the UK?
Gas storage capacity has little bearing on the price of gas. Some other countries do store gas to ensure their own security of supply, but the UK benefits from having access to highly diverse and secure sources of gas from the North Sea and reliable import partners like Norway.
If your supplier has announced it is going out of business, you can find answers to common questions while Ofgem appoints a new supplier for you in our guides below. This includes questions such as if you can cancel your direct debit, what happens to credit or debt on your account and what to do if you can't top up your prepayment meter. See: