When Energy Suppliers Go Bust: What Customers Need To Know


Rahel Kunkel


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Recent record-high energy prices saw the collapse of many providers.

Low gas storage levels, low wind output, and a faster-than-expected economic recovery resulted in record-high wholesale market prices for electricity and gas.

Naturally, this led to higher energy bills for the consumer as many energy providers had to increase their prices — including here at Ostrom, where we sell our electricity at cost price without any markups on consumption.

Unlike Ostrom, many providers lure customers in with long-term price guarantees. But as we’ve seen, most of these guarantees can’t hold up to these record-high prices because the providers didn’t buy the energy at these fixed prices in the first place. These providers must then either bear the costs or massively increase prices for consumers, which can result in high churn or, at times, bankruptcy.

My provider went bankrupt, so who will supply my energy?

First of all, you don’t need to worry about the power going out. You will always have energy!

The local default supplier will jump in if your existing provider goes bust. In Germany, this would be one of the Big 3 — e.On, Vattenfall, EnBW — or the municipal supplier (”Stadtwerk”). These default suppliers guarantee a seamless transition, but it could cost you as their default tariffs are usually the most expensive.

What should I do next?

The best thing you can do is send an additional cancellation request to your bankrupted provider, and they will create a final bill. If there are open payments, you will still be required to pay these, but you will send the money to a bank account administered by the insolvency trustee or administrator rather than the provider’s usual account. If the provider owes you any money, such as bonuses, you should submit a claim to the insolvency trustee.

Search for an alternative now!

Once you’ve sent the cancellation request, it’s a good idea to look for a new, competitive provider so you don’t get stuck with an expensive default tariff

At Ostrom, we offer just one fair tariff for all — no tricks, no tiers. We’re digital-first (no post or fax!) and completely transparent, so you’ll always know exactly what you’re paying for. Ostrom is also Germany’s best-rated utility, with a 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, so you know you can trust us.

Make the switch to Ostrom today!

Photos from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema Jon Moore