Fears over the future of several UK energy providers are continuing as the business minister insisted the price cap must “remain in place”.
Following a crisis meeting with industry representatives, Kwasi Kwarteng said the government would not be bailing out energy firms – despite more firms risking going bust because of soaring costs.
It comes as the UK’s sixth biggest energy company is allegedly looking for a bailout, as a rise in wholesale gas prices is threatening the industry and Brits’ pockets.
Bulb, which supplies gas and electricity to around 1.7 million people, is reportedly looking for ways to obtain new funding sources – and options include investors, join ventures or a merger with another firm, according to the Financial Times.
“Like everyone in the industry, we’re monitoring wholesale prices and their impact on our business,” a Bulb spokesperson told The Independent.
Four suppliers stopped trading – and many more could follow suit
Four small energy suppliers have announced they would stop trading so far – and, out of 70 energy suppliers in Britain, there could only be 10 left by the end of this year according to the BBC.
Among companies which have gone out of business are PfP Energy and Moneyplus Energy, with around 100,000 having to search for a new provider.
Wholesale gas prices have experienced a 250 per cent increase since January – with a 70 per cent rise being registered only last month, according to Oil & Gas UK.
This means UK households could experience bill increases of up to £400 a year.
Claims made by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove a month before the 2016 EU referendum that gas bills will be cheaper if Brits back Brexit resurfaced as UK is currently facing massive gas price hikes.
In The Sun, the ministers argued leaving the EU would allow the UK to scrap a £2 billion annual tax on gas and electricity prices – and fund it out of £11 billion a year saved from Britain’s contributions to the European Commission.
Writing for the newspaper on 30 May 2016, the Tory “Out” campaigners promised: “Fuel bills will be lower for everyone”. Labour’s Gisela Stuart also signed the article at the time, which argued the VAT on bills hits the poorest the most.
Britain moved this week to reduce Universal Credit for millions of families, as well as to increase the national insurance payments, which are believed to hit the young and poorest the hardest.
Earlier this month, Dominic Cummings told The London Economic he believes health and social care funding should have come out of the £350 million a week for the NHS which was promised by the Vote Leave campaign.
He said the national insurance increase is “very bad policy and politics”.