Switch Energy Supplier in debt: Can a Supplier Block Your Switch?

Everyone goes through hard times and there is no reason to blame yourself for it. With that being said, if you’re currently in debt to your energy supplier and are struggling to keep up with payments, switching could be a good option as it could help you save money. So, let’s learn about switching in debt.
Last updated: April 2022

Here, we take a closer look at switching energy suppliers when in debt and how searching for a cheaper deal could help boost your finances.

Can you switch energy supplier if you’re in debt?

You can switch energy supplier if you’ve been in debt for 28 days or less. If it’s your supplier’s fault you’re in debt – for example, if they misread your meter or sent you an incorrect bill – they can’t stop you from switching even if you’ve been in debt longer than 28 days.

What happens to my balance if I switch suppliers?

Any outstanding balance on your account will be added to the final bill your previous supplier sends you. If you can’t pay this bill all in one go, you can talk to your old energy supplier about arranging a payment plan.

Can my energy supplier stop me from switching?

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In some cases, an energy supplier might try to stop you from switching, even if you’re entitled to. If you’ve been in debt for 28 days or less, your supplier can’t stop you from changing companies, they also can’t stop you if it’s their fault you’re in debt in the first place.

If you want to switch energy supplier but have been in debt for more than 28 days, you’ll generally need to repay the money before you can change provider. Once your debt is paid off, you’ll be free to shop around for a better deal.

If your energy company does try to stop you from switching when you’re entitled to, you should make a complaint. If you’re on a prepayment meter, it’s a good idea to write to your supplier explaining that you have the right to switch providers.


Switching energy suppliers when in debt

What do I do if my energy supplier goes bust?

It’s very unusual for an energy company to go bust, but it can happen. If your supplier goes bust when you’re in debt to them, you don’t need to do anything. Ofgem, the energy regulator, will select a new supplier to take over your contract. Any outstanding debts you have will be passed on to them.

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    FAQ

    How do you switch energy supplier when you’re in debt?

    Start by looking around for a cheaper energy deal. Once you find a tariff that better suits your lifestyle and your finances, you can use a third-party site to change suppliers or get in touch with your new supplier directly.

    Can I switch energy suppliers if I’m in debt on a prepayment meter?

    If you owe less than £500 for gas and £500 for electricity, you can switch to a new supplier even if you are paying off your debt via a prepayment meter. Your new supplier will simply take on the debt and you’ll repay them instead.

    Can an energy supplier stop me from switching when in debt?

    If you’ve been in debt for less than 28 days, your supplier can’t stop you from switching. If you’ve been in debt for more than 28 days, they can prevent you changing to a new supplier until your debt has been paid off.

Updated on 6 May, 2022

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