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The collapse of Avro Energy, affecting 580,000 customers, presents a significant test for Ofgem’s Supplier of Last Resort mechanism. Experts tell David Blackman that it’s a "flip of a coin” as to whether the process will cope.
Opinion
Business energy supplier and third-party gas shipper, CNG Group, has hired Interpath Advisory following the recent rise in wholesale energy prices. The Glencore-backed company, which is based in Harrogate, serves 46,500 meter points which are primarily SMEs. Its wholesale shipping business has a portfolio of 30 smaller companies.  
News
Autoswitching service Flipper has announced it is ceasing to trade amid the continuing turmoil in the energy retail market. In a statement the company cited recent supplier failures due to the increase in wholesale prices, and subsequent removal of low-cost tariffs. The demise of Flipper comes as several price comparison websites paused their energy services amid suppliers withdrawing their deals.
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Ofgem’s announcement marks the fourth time this year the Centrica-owned supplier has taken on customers through the supplier of last resort (SoLR) process. Scottish retailer People’s Energy exited the market last week along with fellow disruptor brand Utility Point, with EDF taking on the customers of the latter. The failures saw more than half a million customers enter the SoLR process.
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Energy retailer Bulb is in talks with an investment bank as it seeks to weather the storm of wholesale power price hikes. News that a supplier of 1.7 million customers is seeking a financial lifeline comes as the government is engaged in emergency talks with the industry and Ofgem about a “way forward”. It has made clear that a “special administration” process is on standby in the event of a large supplier exiting the market.
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The government has said it is ready to implement a “special administrator” in the event of a large energy supplier exiting the market. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy issued a statement last night following talks with senior energy executives over the impact of soaring wholesale power prices. Secretary of state, Kwasi Kwarteng, is to meet Ofgem this morning “to discuss the issues raised by the industry in more detail” before convening a roundtable “to plan a way forward”.
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Brexit has pushed the UK to the “back of the queue” for developing interconnectors, Sir Ed Davey has claimed. The former energy and climate change secretary of state said that he “never found any European rules that got in the way” of the UK’s renewable energy push.
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One of the major price comparison services has halted energy comparisons after soaring wholesale costs resulted in suppliers restricted the number of tariffs available. Elsewhere other comparison services are offering a severely limited number of deals, with only a handful of suppliers listed on their sites.
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Kaluza and Flexitricity have teamed up to offer a new combined grid flexibility service in the Balancing Mechanism. The Ovo-owned energy platform and the aggregator will offer demand response by optimising electric vehicle (EV) and domestic battery storage, including vehicle-to-grid (V2G) for the first time.
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Ofgem has been urged to make “bold decisions” to prioritise reinforcement of the grid in areas with a high potential renewable energy yield and ensure transmission charges are equally shared across the UK.
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Ecotricity has reiterated its ambitions to take over green rival Good Energy, making a new £53 million offer for the shares it does not already own in the company. The board of the latter has described Ecotricity as an "unfit" owner.
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The third energy minister in nine months has been unveiled, with Greg Hands taking over the brief from Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Utility Week's policy correspondent David Blackman looks at why the appointment will probably be greeted with less disquiet in the sector than that of his predecessor.
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National Grid has confirmed that the 1GW of the IFA interconnector, which was damaged by fire this week, will be unavailable until 27 March 2022. In more positive news, Britain and Norway have signed a bilateral treaty on electricity interconnection, ahead of the expected commissioning of the 1.4GW North Sea Link between the two countries next month.
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