'Keep Us Warm This Winter': Advice for Leeds customers if your energy firm collapses
What do you do if you are among the 1.5 million customers who have seen their energy firm collapse due to soaring gas prices?
The Yorkshire Evening Post, which is part of JPI Media Group, has the latest advice for Leeds residents as part of the group's 'Keep Us Warm This Winter' campaign.
The campaign is backed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Hub, Money Plus, Utility Point, People’s Energy, PFP, Green and Avro are among energy suppliers who have gone out of business.
Bulb, which has 1.7 million customers, is trying to bolster its finances while Igloo is working with consultants.
Many firms have struggled because they offered customers cheap fixed deals, since when gas prices have soared.
If your energy provider goes bust, you will still receive gas and electricity, your account transferred to a new supplier by energy regulator Ofgem.
You can’t choose the provider and may end up on a more expensive tariff. Bills could increase.
Ofgem has sent Utility Point customers to EDF, while customers of People’s Energy, PfP and MoneyPlus Energy have moved to British Gas.
While awaiting for your new supplier, Citizens Advice recommends now making a note, or taking a photo, of your meter reading as well as downloading any bills.
There’s no need to cancel direct debits before your new account is set up.
You should also wait until you have your new provider before shopping around for a better deal. You won’t be charged an exit fee for moving.
If you’re in credit, the balance will be added to your account with your new supplier, a process that may take several weeks.
If you are in debt to a company that has stopped trading, you still have to pay any cash you owe. You
will be contacted by its administrators or the supplier that takes over.
Price comparison site Compare The Market has paused its energy switching service with sites offering fewer deals than usual.
The market was already shrinking before recent closures - from 70-plus suppliers in 2018 to around 30 today.
An estimated 15 million households in England, Wales and Scotland were already facing a 12 per cent rise in their energy bills from October, when a higher energy price cap begins.
The energy price cap sets the maximum price suppliers can charge customers on a standard - or default - tariff, meaning energy suppliers can’t pass on all of recent gas price hikes.
Northern Ireland has a separate market with two suppliers, prices set to soar next month by up to 35 per cent.
Supplies of renewable energy in Great Britain are also down after the least windy summer since 1961. A recent fire at a National Grid’s Kent site disabled a power cable supplying electricity from France.
Rising gas prices have also led to a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2), widely used in our food and drink industry.
Citizens Advice offers a useful guide to choosing the right tariff for you.
Ofgem also simply sets out steps you can take to switch your supplier.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is in Sussex this week for the Labour Party conference.
He visited Worthing on Monday and gave his backing to the JPI Media Group's campaign.
Sir Keir said: “I support the campaign, I think it is really important this winter that people don’t see their energy prices going up.
"It’s going to be very difficult for many many families as it is.
“Food prices have already gone up, tax is going to go up, lots of families on Universal Credit are going to struggle with the cuts the government is putting in place, so we mustn’t allow fuel bills and energy bills to go up, it’s a big chunk of people’s income and what they spend out every month.
“Your campaign is the right campaign and we’ll challenge the government on it.”
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