The lights went out at Future Energy this year after the Newcastle-based company said it had ceased trading. As the second independent supplier to shut this winter, its collapse has sparked new debate about whether Britain’s household energy market is working. Over the past few years, there has been a rush of new entrants as companies have sought to break the dominance of the “big six” suppliers such as British Gas and Npower. Competition has worked; the incumbents’ market share has dropped to 80 per cent, and there are now about 60 independent suppliers compared with 11 a decade ago. Yet while larger “challenger” companies such as First Utility and Co-op Energy have built sustainable market shares of more than 1 per cent, the recent failures have raised questions about the smaller suppliers that control about 8 per cent of the domestic energy market. Is the regulatory environment right and is the market ripe for a shake-out? Are consumers getting a fair deal?
FT 11th Feb 2018 read more »