We’ve heard from a number of people awaiting refunds from suppliers who have recently ceased trading. How long should it take to get your money back?
I don’t always remember the exact moment I get an email from my energy supplier, but it’s perhaps appropriate in some way that I received notice my energy supplier had ceased trading right as I turned on the heat for the first time last autumn.
I’m certainly not alone – over the past few months several hundred thousand of other customers have likely received a similar notification. Earlier this year both Green Network Energy and Simplicity Energy closed, affecting some 410,000 customers, and last year also saw the closure of Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy.
The good news is that my lights didn’t go out while I was transferred to a new supplier, known as a supplier of last resort (SOLR) and chosen by Ofgem. This transfer was pretty straightforward, with the hardest part being having to crawl under the stairs for a meter reading.
Given I had built up a fair amount of credit with my old supplier, I still had one remaining question:
How long until I got my refund?
Turns out I’m not alone here either. We’ve heard from a number of people awaiting refunds from suppliers who have recently ceased trading. What they’ve been promised doesn’t always measure up to reality:
Hi @ScottishPower – I’m a previous Tonik customer. I’ve been waiting for my refund for weeks now. Sent last week updated meter readings. Surely you’ve ran out of excuses to deny me my refund…? Please respond asap? Thanks
— Jo_Hoff #FBPE 🕷️ (@Jo_Hoff) January 9, 2021
I asked Which? energy expert Sarah Ingrams about when people could expect their balance to be refunded. She said:
“Exactly how long this takes depends on the information the failed supplier had, so it can be out of the new supplier’s control. Usually it’s the new supplier who will refund your credit or add it to your new energy account.
We asked Ofgem about this, and it said if a customer has not been contacted for several weeks by their new supplier, get in touch and ask when they’ll get their balance back. Ofgem doesn’t have a timetable for returning credit balances in a SOLR situation, but it is closely involved as the new supplier takes on customers to make sure it acts as speedily as possible”
Fortunately for me I was told several weeks later that my refunded credit will shortly be posted to me in the form of a cheque. Unfortunately though, that seems to be taking a bit longer than usual for my area.
Share your experiences
If you’ve been with a supplier that’s recently ceased trading, we’d be keen to hear about your experience of being moved to a new supplier.
Has your new supplier communicated what’s going on with your supply in a way that works for you? Have you received a refund for any account credit you had with your old supplier?
What other questions have you had about your transfer that you’d want to know from your new energy supplier?
Once you moved fully to your new supplier, did you stick with it, or did you use the opportunity to find a better deal elsewhere?
Tell us about it in the comments.