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14 October 2021

Twelve UK energy suppliers have failed in three months

Two million UK customers have now been affected by the collapse of their energy company.

By Katharine Swindells

The number of UK customers affected by the failure of their energy company since the beginning of August has now reached over two million.

Yesterday, energy companies Pure Planet and Colorado Energy became the latest to announce they are ceasing to trade amid record wholesale gas and electricity prices, affecting 250,000 domestic customers.

Twelve companies have now failed in the ongoing energy crisis. For comparison, 21 suppliers failed between 2016 and 2020, affecting a total of just 1.4 million customers.

This flurry of closures shows the severity of the current energy crisis, and reports suggest more companies may go bust in coming weeks.

The customers affected by the failures are protected by Ofgem, which maintains energy supply to the households and transfers credit to a new supplier. Of the nine failures in September, three were transferred to British Gas and three to E.On Next, while Octopus Energy acquired the 600,000 customers affected by the failure of Avro.

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These customers will typically be put on the default tariff of their new supplier, which under the current circumstances will likely be higher than their previous payments. The increase in the energy price cap on 1 October will add £139 a year to the average household fuel bill, and another significant rise is anticipated in spring 2022.

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[See also: “It is truly bonkers”: Greg Jackson, Octopus CEO, on the UK’s broken energy system]