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Switching energy supplier if you’re in debt

This advice applies to Scotland

Whether you can switch supplier if you’re in debt to your gas or electricity supplier depends on how long you’ve owed the money.

If your energy supplier goes bust

Don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier. You might find it harder to get any money you’re owed if you switch before this happens.

Read our advice about what to do if your energy supplier goes bust.

You've been in debt for 28 days or less

If you've owed the money to your supplier for 28 days or less, you can switch supplier. The debt will be added to your final bill from your old supplier.

You've been in debt for more than 28 days

If you've owed the money to your supplier for more than 28 days, you can't switch supplier until you've paid the money back.

You can't be stopped from switching if it's your supplier's fault that you're in debt - for example because they've estimated your bill wrong. If you do owe them money you'll still need to pay this when you get your old supplier's final bill. 

If you have a prepayment meter

There are different rules for switching supplier if you pay in advance for your gas and electricity. 

You can switch supplier unless you owe more than £500 for gas or £500 for electricity. 

You’ll need to ask the new supplier to agree to transfer your debt along with your supply (this is called the ‘Debt Assignment Protocol’).

If your supplier doesn’t let you switch

Your supplier might try to stop you from switching, even if you're entitled to. If this happens, you should make a complaint.

If you have a prepayment meter, you might want to write to your supplier and explain that you have the right to switch. Use our template letter to help you.

How to switch supplier

Find out how to switch supplier if you’re entitled to.

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