The government is considering offering emergency state-backed loans to energy companies as firms battle to stay afloat amid surging gas prices. Smaller suppliers face ruin as price hikes have made their price promises to customers undeliverable. The process for dealing with failing firms is under pressure as adopting customers has become unattractive for surviving companies due to price rises. The loans are expected to be offered to encourage firms to take on customers. Wholesale gas prices have risen by 250% since January after a cold winter put pressure on Europe’s supplies, running down levels of stored gas.
BBC 20th Sept 2021 read more »
UK energy groups ask for state ‘bad bank’ to weather gas crisis. Britain’s largest energy group is demanding billions of pounds of emergency packages from the government to survive the crisis caused by soaring gas prices. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwaten will meet with regulator Ofgem on Sunday and meet with energy suppliers in person on Monday. Given the magnitude of the crisis, the largest energy suppliers are asking the government for substantial help to absorb potentially millions of customers from failing companies, accommodating deficit customers they can’t. Absorb says it may demand the creation of a “Northern Rock-style bad bank” to do.
FT 19th Sept 2021 read more »
UK energy supplier Bulb in talks to secure new funding sources.
FT 19th Sept 2021 read more »
UK energy provider Bulb seeks emergency fund injection. Challenger energy brand Bulb has been ordered to pay out £1.8m after overcharging customers and blocking users from switching to its services. A new cash injection from investors is one of the options being considered by the challenger energy brand, which is also talking to other suppliers about a possible joint venture or merger. The UK’s sixth largest energy company, Bulb, is racing to secure an emergency cash injection to avoid collapse as a record spike in energy prices uproots the sector. The energy startup, which supplies electricity and gas to 1.7m customers in the UK, is seeking advice from investment bank Lazard in an attempt to shore up its balance sheet. A new cash injection from investors is one of the options being considered by the challenger energy brand, which is also talking to other suppliers about a possible joint venture or merger, according to the Financial Times, who first reported the news.
City AM 19th Sept 2021 read more »
What is causing the record pricing in the GB power market? The first two weeks of September 2021 have seen unseasonably low wind. Summer is usually a time when we see low demand and low prices, so plant that require maintenance take this opportunity to undergo any maintenance required to be ready for the winter period. These planned outages have taken over 17GW of capacity out of the market from a combination of coal, CCGT, biomass and nuclear units. Additionally, earlier in the week an outage occurred on the GB-France interconnector (IFA1), taking another 500MW out of the market. Putting these pieces together, we see a difficult situation facing the control room at National Grid, whose primary role is to ensure there is enough power to meet demand.
LCP 14th Sept 2021 read more »
Gas Crisis – The only thing wrong with renewables is that we’ve not built nearly enough of them!. Amidst a global shortfall of gas supplies in relation to demand (and a global increase in gas prices) the anti-renewables lobbies are busy blaming a lack of wind and solar (wot solar too?) for the soaring energy prices. It’s nonsense of course to pin the blame renewables for a combination of a global oil and gas crisis and the UK’s unique market vulnerability to natural gas supply squeezes on renewables, but that’s precisely what is happening. The truth is we’d be much more secure and greener with a much higher proportion of energy coming from renewables backed up with a revived storage network that successive UK Governments have allowed to run down.
100% Renewables 19th Sept 2021 read more »
Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, will hold an emergency summit with gas industry chiefs on Monday morning in an effort to contain the fallout caused by soaring market prices on consumers and businesses. Mid-level suppliers will be placed into administration if they fall into trouble this winter in an attempt to protect consumers from costlier bills, he revealed on Sunday, after spending a frantic weekend thrashing out contingencies for Britain’s looming gas crisis. Kwarteng said small firms would be allowed to go bankrupt, with their customers auctioned off to the company prepared to offer them the cheapest rate. It is hoped the meeting will contain the fallout caused by the rise in market prices, which led to a frantic weekend of meetings and phone calls, culminating in the minister drawing up plans to deal with future insolvencies among the 60-plus gas suppliers. It emerged on Sunday night that Bulb, the UK’s sixth-largest energy company with 1.7m customers, is seeking a bailout in order to stay afloat. Possible options include raising funds from investors and merging or entering in to a joint venture with another supplier, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the story.
Guardian 19th Sept 2021 read more »
Household bills could soar even higher than feared as energy giants call for the price cap to be lifted amid a crisis which has left smaller firms supplying up to one million homes at risk of going out of business. i understands some of the big six energy companies currently locked in negotiations with the Government are pushing for the energy price cap to be scrapped as they’re urged to step in to supply customers left without providers. Cabinet minister Alok Sharma said the price cap would remain in place “this winter” but warned the Government couldn’t rule out removing it in future.
iNews 19th Sept 2021 read more »
Ministers are preparing emergency support measures to tackle the mounting gas crisis as up to a million families face an energy bill price hike. Energy companies are asking for a financial crisis-style government bailout, as four UK suppliers teeter on the brink of collapse following a surge in the wholesale price of natural gas across Europe. On Sunday night, Boris Johnson did not rule out the current gas shortage lasting for months as he blamed the problem on the demand boost from global economies coming out of lockdowns. Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, acknowledged on Sunday that it was a “worrying time” for businesses and consumers. “We are working hard to manage the impact of global gas price rises,” he said. He will host a round table on Monday with the energy industry and consumer groups, followed by meetings across Whitehall.
Telegraph 20th Sept 2021 read more »
Mounting fears of a 1970s-style three-day week as Britain’s energy crunch deepens. Rocketing power prices and a gas storage crisis threaten the recovery and leave the UK at the mercy of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. British manufacturing leaders fear an industrial collapse over the winter as spiralling gas and electricity prices overwhelm the country’s energy defences. Wafer-thin gas reserves have left the British economy almost uniquely vulnerable to an extreme global supply squeeze, and dangerously reliant on cross-Channel interconnectors that may be curtailed if Europe itself faces power blackouts and serious industrial stoppages. Andrew Large, the outgoing chairman of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said: “It is potentially catastrophic. We’re already seeing plant closures at a time of year when the weather is still warm and domestic heating is low. Fast forward two months and this could be an acute crisis.
Telegraph 19th Sept 2021 read more »
Wholesale energy prices have rocketed to 11 times above normal levels – a fresh record high – and higher costs are set to be passed onto consumers. It has therefore never been so important to review your energy provider and lock in a good deal for the winter, but options are quickly running out as energy firms go bust and cheap tariffs disappear.
Telegraph 19th Sept 2021 read more »
Taxpayers face a multibillion-pound bill to help energy companies cope with the fallout from rising gas prices under plans being considered by ministers. The government is in talks with the industry over how to deal with the predicted collapse of dozens of small suppliers as wholesale gas and electricity prices soar. Consumers could end up subsidising the supply of energy to millions whose providers are likely to go bust in coming months. Two senior industry sources predicted that the bill could run to several billion pounds if, as feared, dozens of suppliers collapse.
Times 20th Sept 2021 read more »