UK Energy Market Crisis

UK Energy Market Crisis

UK Energy Market Crisis – Energy suppliers offering deals more than £700 above Price Cap: What should customers know?

The UK has been shaken by the recent news of the energy market crisis. The main reason for the crisis is that wholesale prices of gas have increased by 250% since January, and by 70% since August. This graph shows the hike in gas prices. Stuck between these increased costs and the costs they have committed to offer customers, ten energy suppliers have now gone bust and many more might follow. 

Other suppliers have already started to quote energy users fixed-price electricity and gas deals of more than £2,000 a year. This is £700 above the Energy Price Cap set by Ofgem

What will happen with your energy supply deal?

Companies including E.ON, Ovo Energy, Outfox the Market and So Energy have been offering one or two-year fixed dual electricity and gas contracts that are more than £700 above the Energy Price Cap. This already rose to the record high £1,277 at the start of October.

Energy suppliers believe that tariffs, which are based on average usage and the wholesale gas prices, more accurately reflect the current cost of providing energy to their customers. So you might expect your energy supplier to raise your energy tariff to cover for the increasing wholesale prices.

Will the Energy Price Cap be increased?

The Energy Price Cap sets the maximum that the energy suppliers can charge and it aims to protect customers from overplaying. The new Price Cap that went into effect on the 1st of October and has increased the bills with 12%. The government usually adjusts the Energy Price Cap every year in October and February to match it with the current wholesale energy prices. 

Under normal circumstances, the new Cap should be valid until February 2022, before being adjusted again. However, due to the current market crisis, suppliers have called on the government to remove the Price Cap. This will allow them to charge higher prices and help them to cover the costs for the record high wholesale gas prices. At this moment, the government is hesitant to lift the Price Cap because this is the only way to protect the customers from the rising bills. However, industry experts expect that there will be a sharp increase in the Cap of more than £550 in the coming year, which will be reflected in energy bills. 

Which suppliers already went bust?

At the beginning of 2021, the UK had 70 suppliers. If the crisis does not go under control, the country might be left with only 10 suppliers by the end of this year.

Smaller energy providers are hit harder by the energy market crisis and more of them are expected to go bust in the coming days. It is extremely hard for them to cope with the increasing and record high wholesale gas prices. Although bigger suppliers are more protected and have higher chances of surviving, they are also going through a hard period. They have to take on the customers of failing suppliers and be able to cover the energy for them. 

So far 10 suppliers have gone bust within a few weeks, leaving over 1.5 million customers. Below you can find the list with the suppliers that went bust, and who takes over their customer: 

  • Hub Energy: in August, HUB Energy was first to announce that they are being ceased. Ofgem appointed E.ON to take on the 6,000 domestic and 9,000 non-domestic customers.
  • MoneyPlus Energy and PFP Energy: in the beginning of September, MoneyPlus Energy and PFP Energy also went bust, leaving 9 000 and 87 600 customers, respectively.
  • Utility Point and People’s Energy: this trend was followed by Utility Point and People’s Energy. Customers of People’s Energy will be moved to British Gas, while Utility Point’s customers are being switched to EDF.
  • Avro energy and Green: the two providers accounted for 3% of the energy supply. Avro Energy had more than 580 000 customers and Green was a provider for 255 000 domestic customers. Octopus Energy was appointed to take over the customers of Avro, while Shell Energy will supply the customers of Green.
  • Igloo Energy, ENSTROGA and Symbio Energy: they are the latest suppliers to go bust on the 29th of September. Together, the three suppliers accounted for less than 1% of the total energy supply in the UK. Ofgem has appointed E.ON Next to take on their customers.

Should you switch your supplier now?

You might be wondering if it is best to switch immediately to a new provider that is less affected by the energy market crisis or has a lower tariff. As the situation is still unclear and is changing with every day, it is not known which suppliers will stay on the market and which will go bust

Therefore, it is best to wait and see how the situation will develop and make a better informed decision. In case your supplier goes bust and you are transferred to another one, you will be put on a deemed contract by the supplier that Ofgem will appoint. Deemed contracts can be on a higher tariff and might not be the best available deal on the market. If you are not happy with this tariff, you can simply switch to another cheaper supplier, once the transfer is completed. 

About the Author

Chloe Davies:

My name is Chloe and I specialise in producing content about the UK energy sector.

Do you want to contribute?

We’re a letting agency based in and covering a 10 mile radius of Hayle and are passionate about supporting our landlords and tenants. So whilst I write the majority of the blogs on this page, if you think you have something to contribute as Chloe did, that is informative, or even challenges the current market or legislation, I’d love to hear from you. But please remember to be balanced and measured in your articles. We’re here to support and inform local property owners, investors and tenants.

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