The head of one of the challengers to the energy industry’s dominant Big Six has warned that smaller suppliers could go bust this winter because of rising wholesale prices and increasing competition. Ramsay Dunning, general manager of Co-op Energy, which boasts about half a million customers, said that some companies were taking risks by setting below-cost tariffs to win market share. A decade ago there were ten energy suppliers, but several have entered the market since 2013 when Ofgem, the regulator, tried to boost competition by creating a more level playing field for new suppliers. Many of these companies have proved a hit with consumers: a Which? survey of 9,000 people this year found that the top ten energy suppliers for satisfaction were smaller businesses. The collapse of one of these smaller suppliers, however, could undermine public confidence and discourage consumers from switching away from the established powers of British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE.
Times 8th Oct 2016 read more »