An ‘objection’ is an official way for your energy provider to interrupt the switching process and put it on hold until they’re satisfied that:
You don’t owe them any money
You’re not breaking the terms of your contract with them in any way.
However, your energy company can only raise an objection in certain circumstances. These will be listed in your contract with them, but the most likely situation is where you still owe them money and are in arrears with your payments.
Your energy company is not allowed to raise an objection if you haven’t actually signed up to a contract with them, or your contract has expired and they’ve moved you onto a ‘deemed’ contract.
If your energy company decides to raise an objection, they must let you know as soon as possible (this is one of the terms of their licence). They must also explain:
Why they’ve raised their objection.
How you can resolve matters and get them to remove their objection.
If you’ve been in debt for less than 28 days, your energy company can’t stop you switching. You should be able to switch to OVO, and your debt should be added to your final bill from your previous energy company.
If you’ve been in debt for longer than 28 days, your previous energy company can stop you from switching until you’ve repaid the debt.
If you’re switching because your provider is raising their prices, you should be given 30 days to repay your debt before they can stop you switching.
Your old energy company may allow you to switch to OVO if your debt is less than £500 (for each fuel type), and if they do we’d be happy to take you on. You’ll need to settle your debt with your old energy company directly with them (e.g., by agreeing a payment plan with them). This is the easiest way to ensure a smooth switch to OVO.
If your debt is over £500 (for either fuel type), then your old energy company is unlikely to allow you to switch until you settle your debt or bring it down below £500 per fuel.
*If you have recently moved into a property, you will need to get in contact with your energy company to let them know. This is important because if you apply to switch energy companies and there’s debt on your account that the previous tenant owes, you may not be able to switch.