Energy Reset

Utility Week's latest campaign sets out a vision for reforming the energy retail market.

Editor's picks

As Ofgem presses ahead with plans to protect customer money from unsustainable business practices, a rift has emerged in the energy sector. On the one hand Octopus Energy has concerns about the impact of costs to consumers, while Centrica believes it will be shareholders who will shoulder the burden. Adam John explores the division.
Analysis
Leading energy retailers have set out their arguments for reform of the market, as part of Utility Week’s Energy Reset campaign. Eon, EDF, Octopus, Scottish Power and So Energy, among others, share their recommendations for overhauling energy efficiency, reshaping the price cap, protecting competition while ensuring no-one has a “free bet” and making the wholesale market fit for a green grid.
News
The secretary of state for energy has hinted that a wide-ranging reform of the wholesale power market is on the cards, after telling MPs that the price of electricity cannot “forever” be linked to that of gas.
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Latest in Energy Reset

The spate of energy supplier failures seen over recent weeks is “far from normal”, Ed Miliband has told Kwasi Kwarteng, who revealed that the bulk of customers being transferred from failing suppliers are on tariffs at or just below the price cap.
News
A one-off adjustment to the price cap or even quarterly caps should be considered by Ofgem and the government, an ex-big six boss has suggested. Former Npower chief executive Paul Massara was talking to Utility Week about the options he believes the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the energy regulator will be considering as part of the industry’s response to the influx of supplier failures following a spike in wholesale costs.
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The crisis sparked by soaring gas prices has exposed “real vulnerabilities” in the UK retail market and sound suppliers are threatened with collapse, Energy UK’s chief executive has warned. Emma Pinchbeck stressed that “the retail sector makes negative margins which means that at time of price shocks they have nowhere to go”.
News
The business and energy secretary has told MPs it is premature to discuss setting up a bad bank for customers of failed energy suppliers because existing mechanisms to deal with the problem have not been fully utilised. But, pressed on reports that the government is examining the creation of a vehicle to pick up loss-making customers which surviving retailers are reluctant to take on, Kwasi Kwarteng said the government is planning for a range of contingencies.
News
Ofgem has confirmed two more supplier failures, with the loss of Avro Energy resulting in the single biggest failure the market has ever seen. Avro served 580,000, representing a 2 per cent market share. Newcastle-based Green meanwhile, which had 255,000 customers, had a 0.9 per cent market share. The total number of failures so far this year now equals the previous record set in 2019.
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Two more energy retailers have been kicked out of the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC), meaning they can no longer register new customers. Meanwhile, Ofgem has ordered five suppliers to pay a combined £750,000 in missed renewables payments or face having their licences revoked.
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Utility Week launches a new campaign aimed at ensuring the current focus on the energy retail market results in real reform, not more tinkering at the edges. Energy Reset seeks meaningful protection for consumers, an end to the damaging obsession with auto-switching and steps towards long-term relationships between retailers and their customers to drive forward the energy transition.
Analysis
Kwasi Kwarteng has hinted that the government will update its supplier of last resort (SoLR) process in response to the spate of energy retailer collapses seen in recent weeks. Addressing the Commons, the energy secretary ruled out government bailouts for failed suppliers and insisted the price cap was here to stay.
News
Two suppliers listed by Elexon as being in credit default have been expelled from the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) by the administrator. The expulsion, which is subject to approval, means the retailers can no longer register any new customers.
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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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