Energy Reset

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

Editor's picks

The special administration of Bulb will be backed by a £1.7 billion government loan. Approving the unprecedented use of the special administration regime, a judge said state backing was of "existential importance" to continue supply to Bulb's 1.7 million customers.
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Energy suppliers outside of the largest seven would be “mad” not to question their future in the domestic retail market after the recent turmoil, an industry expert has suggested. Ellen Fraser, energy retail partner at Baringa Partners, said they should ask whether they are "going to have to take so much of a loss that the payback period is not worth it."
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The government should consider picking up the tab for Last Resort Supply Payment claims to spread out the costs of the industry levy and protect consumers from a sharp increase in energy bills next year, Energy UK’s deputy chief has stated. Audrey Gallacher, who also serves as the trade body’s director of policy, made the suggestion after Bulb became the first supplier to enter the special administration regime earlier this week.
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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.
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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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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.
News
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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After a bruising week for the energy retail market, in which wholesale power prices hit dramatic new heights, more than 500,000 customers saw their supplier exit the market and a major price comparison website was forced to suspend its energy services, the real fear is that we have yet to see the worst. Adam John looks at where the energy retail sector goes from here.
Analysis
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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