Advice is being offered to residents affected by the collapse of energy firms following a sharp rise in wholesale gas prices.

A number of local people are believed to have been hit in the pocket as a result of companies such as Avro Energy and Green going bust.

Customers of these firms are automatically moved to a new supplier by industry regulator Ofgem but this will often result in higher bills.

Experts at Advice Direct Scotland are urging those affected not to panic.

They have stressed to customers that their energy supply will continue and they will not lose any credit owed to them.

For those who have a prepayment meter, their new supplier should tell them how to get a replacement key or card and will provide a new meter if necessary.

Colin Mathieson, of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “These firms are unlikely to be the last to collapse as small suppliers struggle with soaring gas price rises.

“The key advice remains the same – don’t panic. There will be no loss of supply or money owed to customers and Ofgem will switch people to a new supplier.

“However, energy companies will be allowed to lift the price cap by as much as 12 per cent from October, so it is inevitable that many people will face higher charges down the line – and this is a worrying time for many.”

Concerns have also been raised by the Age Scotland charity, which fears the energy crisis could plunge a number of older, vulnerable customers into fuel poverty this winter.

Brian Sloan, the charity’s chief executive, said: “The growing energy crisis and rising cost of living look set to make this a very long, harsh winter for older and vulnerable people.

“Our latest research reveals that energy bills are the number one concern for older people who feel financially squeezed. The lockdown has only made this worse, with two-thirds already facing higher home energy bills and many taking steps to cut down their energy use.”

Anyone who is concerned about the gas crisis can get free, impartial and practical advice by visiting or calling 0808 196 8660.