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Following the collapse of over 30 energy suppliers since the start of 2021, new independent consumer research shows that the vast majority (86%) of consumers want their energy supplier to protect their credit balances. While 13% were unsure, only 1% of all survey respondents said that they didn’t think balances should be protected.

Centrica announced in February that it has voluntarily protected all British Gas customers' credit balances and called on Ofgem to make this an industry standard. It continues to call on all responsible suppliers to do what their customers want and protect all customers’ credit balances.

A YouGov survey commissioned by Centrica found that customers amongst suppliers such as Octopus (85%) and E.ON (91%) would also like their provider to safeguard their balances. E.ON has also stated that it supports calls to ring-fence deposits.

"British Gas customers can always have comfort that the money they pay up front for their energy is properly protected and is only used to buy energy after our customers have used that energy - and not for day-to-day activities."

Chris O'Shea, Centrica CEO

As a responsible, sustainable supplier Centrica protects customer deposits, and holds £294m in a separate bank account. This money is only used to buy energy for customers as and when they use that energy.

The current UK energy market crisis has seen many suppliers use customers’ credit to fund unsustainable commercial models and subsequently collapse, resulting in the disappearance of more than £500 million of UK consumers' money.

The cost of energy company failures, including the lost consumer money, is added to the energy bills of every UK consumer and was responsible for 10% of Ofgem’s recent price increase – the cost of this ‘lost’ money feeds into higher electricity standing charges.

Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica said:

“It is an outrage that the hard-pressed UK consumer is paying for the failure of energy suppliers, and we must make sure this never happens again, starting with protecting our customers’ hard-earned cash. British Gas customers can always have comfort that the money they pay up front for their energy is properly protected and is only used to buy energy after our customers have used that energy - and not for day-to-day activities. It’s clear that consumers think every supplier should do the same.

“At the end of last year, we saw supplier after supplier going bust. Pretty much all of them had used their customers’ money to try and keep their businesses going. Some say they use deposits to pay for energy in advance, but it’s time the public knew that energy is actually paid for after customers use it. So, there is absolutely no excuse for taking customers’ money up front and not keeping it safely to one side.”

Survey results:


Energy suppliers SHOULD protect deposits


Energy suppliers SHOULDN’T protect deposits

All energy customers




British Gas

















  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
  • Total sample size was 2019 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 23rd March 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)
  • Methodology: This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample. The e-mail invites them to take part in a survey and provides a generic survey link. Once a panel member clicks on the link, they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas. (The sample definition could be "GB adult population" or a subset such as "GB adult females"). Invitations to surveys don’t expire and respondents can be sent to any available survey. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. The profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, from industry accepted data.