Last updated: 15th October 2021
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There is a lot going on with energy prices and energy suppliers at the moment. Wholesale prices have hit record levels and in the past few weeks, 11 energy suppliers have gone bust. The Guardian are also reporting that most UK energy suppliers could be left to collapse this winter.
In this post we will look at the suppliers that have gone bust in 2021 and those that have had issues with the energy regulator Ofgem.
We will update this post as more information becomes available.
Who has been in the news?
In an article posted on the Financial Times website (19/09/21), details are provided about Bulb Energy being in talks to secure new funding. According to the article, options include raising funds from investors as well as discussing joint ventures or mergers with other suppliers.
Bulb currently supplies gas and electricity to 1.7m UK customers.
You can read more about this in our separate post on is Bulb is going bust?
On 21/09/21 Bulb Energy made a post on their website to say “We buy our energy in advance and this means we’re protected from the current wholesale costs that some smaller companies have struggled to manage.”
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Who has been in trouble with Ofgem recently?
On 1st October 2021, Ofgem issued a Proposal to make a final order to GoTo Energy for failing to meet their Renewable Obligations. This means they either failed to produce Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC) or to make a payment as an alternative. GoTo Energy owe £2,472,369.
This does not necessarily mean that GoTo Energy are going bust.
This does not necessarily mean that Ampower UK are going bust.
Neon Reef were also in trouble with Ofgem for the same reason as Igloo Energy. The provisional order issued to them said they failed to pay £37,350 in Feed-In Tariff payments. This provisional order is no longer in place as Neon Reef have paid the sum owed.
This does not necessarily mean that Neon Reef are going bust.
Which suppliers have said they should be safe?
Octopus Energy are one of the first energy suppliers to confirm they are safe. Greg Jackson, Octopus CEO, tweeted on 18/09/21 to say as a “global, very well backed company we’re fine”. As Co-op Energy, M&S Energy and Ebico are powered by Octopus, it is likely these brands will be safe too.
Green Energy UK
OVO Energy and SSE
Utility Warehouse put out a statement on their website (20/09/2021) to say “Utility Warehouse (UW) is well-positioned to weather this storm and this means that as a UW customer, your service will continue”.
In a statement released on 21/09/2021, Ecotricity Founder Dale Vince said “We have 90% of our requirement bought in advance for 12 months, the other 10% is not available until closer to the point of delivery. We are thus protected to the maximum possible.”
A tweet from Utilita Energy on 21/09/21, in a reply to a customer, said “We are not going bust”.
On the 21st September, So Energy responded to a customer via Twitter to say “we’re fine. We just merged with the wonderful @ESBGroup so we’re in a very stable position.”
British Gas and British Gas Evolve
Although there has been no written confirmation, being the UK’s biggest supplier and being chosen by Ofgem recently to take on customers of failed suppliers, it seems very unlikely British Gas will go bust. As British Gas Evolve is a sub-brand, it is likely they will be safe too.
As one of the UK’s biggest suppliers, it is very unlikely EDF energy will go bust.
E.ON, E.ON Next and Sainsburys Energy
With E.ON being one of the largest suppliers in the UK, it is very unlikely they will go bust. As they supply energy for both E.ON Next and Sainsbury’s Energy, it seems these suppliers are likely safe too.
Good Energy posted a message on their website from CEO Nigel Pocklington saying “I would like to reassure you all that Good Energy is stable, prudently run and not at risk of running into difficulty.”
Pure Planet posted a response to the energy crisis on their customer forum. Within that message, they said “We feel we’re well hedged for the winter, which means we have the energy we expect our Members will need until spring covered.”
Suppliers that have gone bust in 2021
Since the “energy crisis” began, 7 suppliers have gone bust:
On 14th October, Pure Planet went bust. The company had 235,000 customers.
Sky News (22/09/21) reports separately that Igloo Energy is on the brink of collapse after being in contact with Alvarez & Marsal on a potential insolvency process. They have now stopped taking on new customers.
As of 29th September 2021, Igloo Energy have now gone bust. Igloo Energy had 179,000 customers.
E.ON Next have been appointed by Ofgem to take on Igloo customers.
Another energy supplier that had been in trouble with Ofgem is Symbio Energy. Already this year Symbio has been in trouble with Ofgem twice. Firstly they received a fine of £100,000 for missing the late payment deadline for their Renewable Obligations. They then received a provisional order to pay £450,000 to the feed-in tariff scheme. This followed Symbio missing the payment deadline.
Symbio were in further trouble on the 21st September 2021, with Ofgem issuing them a provisional order for failing to pay £146,238 into the government Feed in Tariff scheme.
As of 29th September 2021, Symbio Energy have now gone bust. Symbio had 48,000 customers.
E.ON Next have been appointed by Ofgem to take on Symbio customers.
On the 29th September 2021, Ofgem announced Enstroga had gone bust. The company had 6,000 customers.
E.ON Next have been appointed by OFGEM to take on Enstroga customers.
The company had 580,000 customers and has now ceased trading.
Then on 22/09/21, Ofgem announced that Green. had gone bust. They had 255,000 customers and have now ceased trading.
These are the suppliers that have gone bust so far this year:
|14th October 2021||Pure Planet||To Be Announced|
|14th October 2021||Colorado Energy||To Be Announced|
|29th September 2021||Igloo Energy||E.ON Next|
|29th September 2021||Symbio||E.ON Next|
|29th September 2021||Enstroga||E.ON Next|
|22nd September 2021||Avro Energy||Octopus Energy|
|22nd September 2021||Green.||Shell Energy|
|14th September 2021||Utility Point||EDF Energy|
|14th September 2021||People’s Energy||British Gas|
|7th September 2021||PFP Energy||British Gas|
|7th September 2021||MoneyPlus Energy||British Gas|
|9th August 2021||HUB Energy||E.On Next|
|27th January 2021||Green Network Energy||EDF Energy|
|27th January 2021||Simplicity Energy||British Gas Evolve|
Ofgem prepares for looming failure of a large energy supplier
The Guardian reports that Ofgem has put a management consultancy firm on standby to take control of a large energy company with fears that one could collapse soon.
Avro Energy has gone bust
The company that has around 650,000 customers has now ceased trading
Green. cease trading
Green. Energy that has approximately 250,000 customers, goes bust
Ofgem orders 5 suppliers to make payments into Government renewals scheme
Provisional orders were issued to 5 suppliers who had failed to make payments by the due date (17th September 2021). Apart from the suppliers mentioned above, two other suppliers (Whoop Energy and Colorado Energy) also received provisional orders.
More details emerge about potential government response
The BBC reports that the government do not plan to give failed energy companies bailouts, but are exploring the possibility of loans to bigger suppliers to take on customers of failed firms.
Business Secretary makes a statement in House of Commons
In the House of Commons, Kwasi Kwarteng says that:
- we say see more suppliers than usual exit the market
- the government will not bail out failing companies
- customers must be protected from price rises
- the energy market should not suffer because of a minority of suppliers
- reiterates price cap is not going anywhere
Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) publishes help video
For those unsure what to do, Martin Lewis publishes a 7-minute video on his Twitter page explaining what you need to know and what you should do.
Price cap will remain in place
Small energy suppliers accuse Ofgem of being unfit to oversee “energy crisis”
Sky News reports that 15 energy suppliers have signed a letter to the Prime Minister. In it they urge the government to review the price cap, assemble a support package for the energy sector and state Ofgem is “currently unfit to regulate [the] industry”.
The BBC is reporting that the government is considering offering rescue loans to some energy suppliers to help them stay afloat. The loans would be used to encourage energy companies to take on new customers from failed suppliers.