CONSUMERS are urged to hang fire over their household energy supply over fears that more firms will enter insolvency this week.

Seven UK domestic suppliers have gone under since January. They include People’s Energy of Midlothian, which was the second biggest of the seven with accounts for 350,000 households, including those through the East Lothian Energy partnership with the local council.

Scotland’s national energy advice service has now urged householders not to panic amid fears that more firms will go bust this week.

Advice Direct Scotland, which runs, said regulator Ofgem will ensure that any households affected will be automatically switched to a new supplier with no loss of energy and no loss of any money owed. In the case of People’s Energy, British Gas has been chosen as a new supplier and will be in touch with all those affected.

Billpayers are advised not to immediately switch should their supplier collapse. However, with gas prices on the rise, there are additional concerns about the overall financial impact on consumers.

Around one quarter of Scottish households is already experiencing fuel poverty, according to estimates. However, there are no firm figures and the issue, which sees people limit their use of heating, lighting and cooking facilities to make ends meet, is linked to a range of health and wellbeing problems including depression and lower educational attainment.

Conor Forbes, head of policy with Advice Direct Scotland, said: “This is a worrying time for the energy market, with a number of firms in difficulty.

“But for households, the vital piece of advice to remember is not to panic.

“If your supplier collapses, you will not be left without energy – Ofgem will switch you to a new supplier automatically and you will not lose any money owed to you. You do not need to immediately seek a new supplier. But there could be a wider impact from rising gas prices for many consumers, and those who are struggling to pay their bills should get in touch with us for free advice.”

Scots seeking help can visit or call 0808 196 8660 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.