Energy retail

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A further three energy retailers have ceased trading, leaving another 233,000 customers for the supplier of last resort (SoLR) process. The failures of Igloo, Symbio and Enstroga Energy take the total number of market exits so far this year to 12, exceeding the previous record of nine set in 2019. Igloo's founders said the market had become unsustainable and accused Ofgem of ignoring calls to reform a price cap methodology which "is designed to favour the largest suppliers".
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There are reports this morning of a major policy pivot by the government, which is said to be about to announce that green levies will be moved from electricity to gas bills.
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Matt Cole, former head of policy and customer vulnerability at Npower, who now heads the Fuel Bank Foundation, believes there will likely be pressure for an early adjustment to the cap this winter to reflect soaring wholesale costs. Cole told Utility Week that extra support must be available for vulnerable customers in the event of any adjustment. Elsewhere National Energy Action chief Adam Scorer said the latest rise could mean an additional half a million consumers will be at risk of fuel poverty, as well as an increase in preventable deaths.
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As part of Utility Week’s Energy Reset campaign, we talk to former Ofgem chief executive, Dermot Nolan, about what the current turmoil in the retail market means for the price cap, the Supplier of Last Resort process and whether now is the time to introduce prudential regulation into the sector.
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A total of 31 energy suppliers have exited the market via the supplier of last resort (SoLR) process since 2016, with more domestic customers facing SoLR so far in 2021 than the previous five years combined. Utility Week has compiled a list of all 31 failures since 2016, and the suppliers which became the SoLR.
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Electralink's latest figures show there was an almost 16 per cent decrease in the number of smart electricity meters installed in August compared to July, ending a five-month run of more than 200,000 installations per month. Elsewhere, the Data Communications Company (DCC) has confirmed that more than 15 million smart meters are now connected to its network.
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Latest in Energy retail

David Porter, chief executive of the AEP and Utility Week's newly crowned Industry Champion of 2011, is on the brink of uniting the AEP, ERA and UKBCSE into a single organisation. He talks to Janet Wood.
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The gas industry has warned Ofgem that its proposals for the immediate reform of the gas cash-out regime in an emergency could backfire and cost consumers more.
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43 per cent of people are worries they can't afford their next fuel bill, according to a survey of 2,000 people by Citizens Advice. The charity is now handling 500 fuel-related problems each day and has urged consumers to check they are getting support they are entitled to from energy suppliers and government.
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Large energy retailers look set to follow smaller suppliers in passing on falls in wholesale costs after EDF Energy said it would cut gas prices by 5 per cent from 7 February.
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