Energy providers - Supply disconnected

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If you have received a notice of an intention to disconnect then you should get in touch with your supplier immediately via resolver so you have an accurate record of the communication. It should be possible for you to come to a repayment arrangement with your supplier or to agree to be switched to a pre-payment meter. You should also consider whether you fall within any of the listed exemptions from disconnection below.

Safety Net

The six largest energy suppliers signed up to an agreement called the Energy UK ‘Safety Net’. This forces them to consider a list of factors to determine who class as ‘vulnerable consumers’ and protect these customers as far as possible against disconnection. During the period from 1st October to 31st March the Winter Moratorium means many consumers of pensionable age must not be disconnected. This includes those living alone, or only with other people of pensionable age, or with someone under the age of 18.

Transferred debt to new supplier

If a consumer is in debt to a previous supplier, the current supplier is not allowed to disconnect the supply following transfer. They are only entitled to do this if a further balance accrues for their supply. Also if a debt exists that is not for the gas or electricity used, but, for example, for a new boiler instead, the supplier is not allowed to disconnect the energy supply itself for this reason. Finally, if a consumer has been made bankrupt, a supplier cannot disconnect for a debt that was built up before the date of the bankruptcy order. If you feel that you meet one of these conditions, but have nevertheless been disconnected, you should write to your energy supplier and ask for immediate reconnection on these grounds.

You should know

  • If you want to change any personal details, contact your supplier via Resolver, and inform them of the change as soon as possible
  • Once you have submitted your information to the energy company, they should acknowledge your case with 14 days
  • Be clear and focused when you raise an issue. Explain clearly what happened and what you want to achieve.
  • All energy companies have to meet high standards of service, set by industry watchdog Ofgem.
  • If you are unhappy with any outcome you have the right to take your case to the Energy Ombudsman (Ombudsman Services) for independent assessment. Resolver will remind you when you can escalate your case.

What next?

Once you have submitted your information to the energy company, they should acknowledge your case with 14 days. Ensure you keep a copy of all communications. Resolver automatically does this for you.

What if you cannot resolve the issue?

After eight weeks you can send the case to Ombudsman Services for the big six energy providers (British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power, e.on, Scottish Southern Energy (SSE) and npower), as well as smaller supliers. The Ombudsman Service will independently investigate your case, and resolver will you remind you when you can send your case over to the Energy Ombudsman. The exception is if the energy company sends you a 'deadlock letter' - then you can send your case file to the Ombudsman immediately.

You can still take your energy company to court if you still do not agree with the outcome but only use this as a last resort.

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