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Court or Bailiff summons: What to do

Unfortunately the nature of a business energy contract means that it is possible for customers to fall into debt if they neglect to monitor their usage and bills. If you are in debt, or struggling to keep up with payments, then your first steps should always be to contact your supplier, and follow up in writing, informing them of your situation.

Typically your supplier will have procedures in place to help their customers manage any debt that they may incur when under contract with them. The most common and effective method suppliers use to tackle customer debt is a repayment plan. This is an agreement between you and the supplier that allows you to repay any money you may owe, while paying for any additional energy that you use.

Please note: Before offering a repayment plan, your supplier will look at your previous payment history to determine whether or not if you’re eligible. If you have missed multiple previous payment, you may find it more difficult to negotiate a repayment plan.

For more information on repayment plans, visit our unable to pay invoices page.

If you are in debt with your supplier and you have not made a payment on the debt within 28-days, your supplier has the right to issue you with a court or bailiff summons. Usually, before issuing a summons, your supplier will first try to contact you through a variety of different means, including phone, email and post and make an effort to disconnect your meter. A summons is usually your suppliers final course of action, so when you receive a summons, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t ignore it, and act swiftly, following the correct procedures.

Once you receive a summons, your first step should be to contact your supplier, in writing, to find out what it’s for. You are given 14-days to respond to a court summons. If you require additional time to respond, you can request an extension of an additional 14-days.

While you are in debt with your supplier, or they are pursuing you with legal action, you may be unable to switch to a new energy contract. However, if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving from your current supplier, we recommend switching at the earliest opportunity. You may even be able to find yourself a cheaper deal on your energy.

Click the link for more information on switching your business energy.


Businesses typically save £1,150* by switching to a better deal.

*£1,150 Figure based on 8,254 actual contracts arranged in 2016 when compared to prices or renewal quotes of existing suppliers.


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