Connect with us

Business

‘Desperate Choices’ This Winter As Three More UK Energy Suppliers Toppled By Price Surge

winter

‘Desperate choices’ this winter as three more UK energy suppliers toppled by price surge

Households are facing “desperate choices” this winter, with energy bills rising by £30 a month for those who have had to switch supplier owing to a wave of energy company failures, as three more collapsed on Wednesday.

Rising gas prices have driven 12 energy companies under this year, forcing the regulator, Ofgem, to transfer 2m customer accounts to surviving suppliers. The collapse of a further three will force the regulator to move 233,000 more customer accounts, with bills expected to increase as a result.

Ofgem said Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy and Enstroga had become the latest companies to succumb to a gathering crisis that shows no sign of abating, with gas prices remaining stubbornly high amid international shortages as winter approaches.

The regulator emphasised that customers would not have any disruption to the supply of energy to their homes, adding that anyone with credit in their accounts with those companies would not lose their money.

But it will have to find a new provider for nearly a quarter of a million people through its “supplier of last resort” scheme, under which financially healthy companies take on customers from collapsed rivals.

Those that were on cheaper fixed-rate tariffs, often used by smaller, start-up energy companies to woo new customers, will see their bills increase to the government’s energy cap, which is £1,277 for a household with average usage.

A report by Citizens Advice has found that consumers who are moved to a new supplier typically pay £30 a month more than before. Advisers at the charity fear many will face fuel poverty this winter and could end up turning off their fridges and freezers, relying on hot-water bottles for warmth and requesting support to buy extra duvets and blankets.

Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Overnight price hikes will be a shock for more than a million households whose energy companies have gone bust. We’re particularly worried about those who’ll face desperate choices this winter because of the cumulative impact of soaring bills, the planned cut to universal credit and inflation.

“The government and Ofgem must guarantee that the warm home discount will be continued for people moving to new energy suppliers. People on the lowest incomes should be able to access emergency winter grants so they can stay warm in the cold months ahead.”

Earlier this week, Shell Energy took on 255,000 customers from a collapsed smaller rival, Green, while Octopus Energy has taken on 580,000 customers stranded when Avro Energy failed.

Before the latest collapses, announced on Wednesday, the number of households supplied by an energy company that had gone bust this year totalled almost 2m, forcing Ofgem into an unprecedented scramble to keep to the customer transfer system going.

Neil Lawrence, the director of retail at Ofgem, said: “We know this is a worrying time for many people and news of a supplier going out of business can be unsettling.

“I want to reassure customers of Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy that they do not need to worry. Under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you have credit on your Enstroga, Igloo Energy or Symbio Energy account, the funds you have paid in are protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.

“Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you, and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime.

“You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your tariff. Any customer worried about paying their energy bill should contact their supplier to access the range of support that is available.”

Igloo Energy is the largest of the companies that went under on Wednesday, with 179,000 customers, followed by Symbio with 48,000 and Enstroga with 6,000.

Igloo blamed high gas prices and the government’s energy price cap, which it said was a good idea but had been “designed to favour the largest suppliers”.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

35 illegal tax collectors facing prosecution in Benue

The Acting Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Emmanuel Agena, has revealed that 35 persons involved in illegal tax collection in the state are currently facing prosecution.

Agena announced that the agency has set an ambitious target to generate over N16 billion in revenue for the year 2024 following the successful surpassing of its N14 billion target in 2023.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Agena expressed concern over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, noting that many of them were supported by influential personalities.

He stated that his administration at the BIRS had put an end to the era of patronage by politicians, aiming to significantly reduce illegal tax collection activities.

The BIRS boss also condemned a recent incident in which a truck carrying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He disclosed that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen.

“Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation.

“We aim to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by the director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys,” he stated.

Continue Reading

Business

Nigeria’s Inflation rate hits 33.20% in March- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics NBS says Nigeria’s inflation rate jumped to 33.20% in March 2024 compared to February 2024 headline inflation rate which was 31.70%.

A report released by the NBS on Monday, April 15, reads

“Looking at the movement, the March 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.50% points when compared to the February 2024 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16% points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04%. On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 3.02%, which was 0.10% lower than the rate recorded in February 2024 (3.12%).

“This means that in the month of March 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in February 2024.”

 

The inflation report by the NBS followed the hike of Nigeria’s interest rate from 22.75% to 24.75% by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The March inflation rate was released at a time when measures by the apex bank to strenghten the naira against foreign exchange have seen some positive results.

The naira has appreciated against the dollar in recent weeks, gaining over 40%, from about N1,900/$ to about N1,100/$1 now.

Continue Reading

Business

NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending