Electricity retail

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What does Ovo's potential takeover of SSE mean for the big six and does it signal a new era of consolidation in the energy retail market? Adam John talks to experts including former Npower boss, Paul Massara.
Analysis

Latest in Electricity retail

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
Electricity switching in Great Britain saw an almost 20 per cent dip last month compared to August 2020 to one of the lowest levels this year, the latest figures from Electralink show. So far this year more than 3.8 million switches have been completed, which is 100,000 less than the same eight-month period in 2020.
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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.
News
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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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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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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A large fire at a National Grid interconnector in Kent is continuing to disrupt electricity supplies being imported from France. The interconnector, also known as Cross-Channel, is a 2GW high voltage direct current link between the UK and the continent. Data from National Grid shows power flows for the interconnector are currently at zero.
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Avro Energy has been ordered to immediately provide Ofgem with financial information or face enforcement action from the regulator. Ofgem said the supplier had failed to respond to two requests for information last month.
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Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has announced proposals to raise approximately £175 million through a new share placing to investors. The company said the fundraising, along with a combination of the group’s internally generated cash and recently increased £420 million debt facility, will help fundraise its pipeline.
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