Many suppliers have also signed up to a Safety Net, a pledge to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer at any time of year.
This offers further protection for vulnerable customers. In this instance, vulnerable customers may be customers who are unable to safeguard their personal welfare or the personal welfare of other members of the household due to:
- age (such as younger people at home)
- severe financial insecurity.
If you’re bankrupt or you owe debts to a former energy supplier
You cannot be disconnected if:
- your debt is owed to a previous supplier
- you have been made bankrupt and the debt relates to a period before you went bankrupt
- the debt is not for the gas or electricity you have used but for some other service or appliance you have bought from your supplier.
If you think you shouldn’t be disconnected, contact your supplier and tell them. If you aren’t happy with their response, follow their complaints process and make a complaint.
Get help to repay a debt and avoid disconnection
Specific help is available if you have either been threatened with disconnection or who have actually been disconnected:
- Citizens Advice consumer helpline (opens another website) – can refer your case to the Extra Help Unit who can negotiate with your supplier on your behalf.
- Home Energy Scotland (opens another website) – in Scotland
- Nest home heat programme (opens another website) – in Wales
- Check the Energy Grants Calculator on GOV.UK.
Further support can also be found in our section on Who to contact if it’s difficult paying energy bills.