Electricity supplier Igloo Energy is facing collapse as competitor Bulb denied the UK government is considering a potential nationalisation.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of Ofgem has warned that the rocketing gas prices may last for longer than expected.
“Have a look at the change in the gas price – it really is something that we don’t think we’ve seen before at this pace,” Jonathan Brearley told MPs at a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee (BEIS) hearing.
“We do expect a large number of customers to be affected, we’ve already seen hundreds of thousands of customers affected, that may well go well above that.”
“It’s not unusual for suppliers to go out of the market. I think what is different this time is that dramatic change in the costs that those suppliers are facing.”
In fact, Igloo is in talks with Alvarez & Marsal to sort potential insolvency issues, Sky News reported.
The same professional services firm has already been discussing with fellow supplier Green.
Alongside Colorado Energy, Neon Reef Limited, Whoop Energy Limited and Symbio Energy, Igloo was recently ordered by Ofgem to pay into a government renewable energy scheme to avoid losing their licences.
“The state of the wholesale energy market is the worst we have ever seen it,” Igloo said on its website, stressing that it’s still offering customers “the best deal we can afford to give”.
It’s not taking any new customers as of Tuesday.
As for Bulb, the i reported that Westminster was figuring out how to ensure its 1.7mln customers keep the lights on as all larger suppliers said they don’t have enough capacity to take them on. Nationalisation and loans were among the potential solutions.
However, the company said the reports were untrue.
“We’re not in talks with government or Ofgem about nationalisation and we haven’t asked for a bailout. We buy our energy in advance and this means we’re protected from the current wholesale costs that some smaller companies have struggled to manage,” a spokesperson told Proactive.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has been insisting that Westminster will not bail out “badly run” energy companies as there are 55 of them in the UK, so it’s unlikely they will receive taxpayer money.
–Adds Bulb statement on nationalisation–