Sweden’s state-owned power company is considering quitting the British household energy market after only two and a half years, describing it as a “mess”. Vattenfall entered the market in June 2017 when it bought iSupply Energy, a Bournemouth-based business with about 120,000 household customers. However, Magnus Hall, Vattenfall’s chief executive, said that the market had proved to be “very difficult” because of strong competition and a government-imposed price cap. He said that the utility was considering “how we deal with it” and that one option would be “to potentially divest”. Vattenfall employs 20,000 people and makes annual profits of nearly £1 billion from operations in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Britain. Its interests span power generation to retailing and it supplies electricity to about 6.5 million homes in Europe and gas to about 2.4 million. The British household energy market has undergone changes in recent years, with dozens of new entrants from small start-ups to established giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Engie, of France. However, at least 14 small suppliers have collapsed since the start of 2018, while larger players’ profits have been hit by the government’s price cap, which came into force at the start of last year and forced companies to cut prices for expensive standard tariffs.
Times 11th Nov 2019 read more »