A rise in wholesale gas prices is threatening to reshape the energy sector.
No fewer than 10 companies have gone bust in recent weeks due to the soaring cost of gas, caused by high global demand and limited supplies.
Industry experts have warned there could be as few as 10 energy firms left by the end of 2021 - down from 70 - as suppliers grapple with the gas price hike.
Unable to pass the cost on to consumers, due to the energy price cap, providers will have to shoulder the additional financial weight in the short term.
Here’s a look at the plight of Igloo Energy after Martin Lewis, of Money Saving Expert, issued a stark warning to its customers on Twitter amid the gas crisis.
Is Igloo Energy going bust?
Igloo Energy has ceased trading, Ofgem has confirmed.
Igloo appeared to be another of the smaller energy suppliers at risk of going bust when Martin Lewis posted on Twitter: "Strong rumours that Igloo is appointing administrators. I see @MarkKleinmanSky is saying the same.
"Igloo is a big one. If you’re a customer, screen grab your status now and do a meter reading just in case. Updates later if it is confirmed."
This was confirmed by Ofgem on Wednesday 29 September when the industry regulator issued a statement revealing Igloo, Symbio and Enstroga had all ceased trading.
Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said: “Ofgem’s number one priority is to protect customers. 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.”
Why is Igloo Energy at risk of administration?
Like many energy providers out of the traditional ‘big 6’, Igloo was facing difficult decisions as to how to plot a path forward amid the staggering rising costs of wholesale gas.
Wholesale prices for gas have increased by 250% since January and risen 70% since August alone, according to industry group Oil & Gas UK.
The increase in costs has been blamed on planned maintenance, a temporary reduction in nuclear power station outage and less renewable energy output.
At the moment, companies are shouldering that financial burden due to the government’s energy price cap which limits the cost firms can pass on to its customers.
Yet the cap is set to rise by £139 a year, from £1,138 to £1,277 a year, starting from 1 October 2021 and will be reviewed again by Ofgem in six months’ time.
Which energy suppliers have gone bust?
No fewer than 10 energy firms have gone bust in recent weeks brought on by the rise in wholesale gas prices coupled with the energy price cap.
Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited ceased trading on 22 September, Utility Point and People’s Energy went bust on 14 September, a week after PFP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy, and a month after HUB Energy.
New suppliers have been found for six of the seven firms to have gone bust mentioned above, with industry regulations ensuring energy supply will continue for affected customers.
Igloo energy, Symbio Energy and Enstroga ceased trading on 29 September.
What should I do if my energy supplier goes bust?
Households will not be without energy.
If your energy supplier goes bust you will still receive gas and electricity under rules put in place by energy regulator Ofgem.
Your account will be transferred to another energy provider but be warned that you may be placed on a more expensive tariff initially.
It is recommended that you take a note - or photograph - of your meter reading as soon as possible while you wait for the new supplier to make contact.
All money is protected so any credit you had with your previous supplier will be paid back. Equally, if you were in debt then that will still need to be paid back.
Citizens Advice says there is no need to cancel a direct debit straight away and recommends waiting for your new account to be set up with the new supplier before cancelling or changing.
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