The energy crisis shows precisely why this industry should be in public hands. Last week, the energy company Bulb became the latest and largest victim of a bloodbath that has seen 25 firms go to the wall. Emergency procedures for “special administration” have been used for the first time, with Bulb effectively being bailed out by the taxpayer to avoid leaving its 1.7 million customers without power. As a result of the UK’s energy crisis, we face a situation where just a few large firms dominate the market, with millions of households expected to face hardship this winter as fuel bills soar. Sound familiar? Picture Margaret Thatcher opens the Torness power station in East Lothian in May 1989.
Guardian 3rd Dec 2021 read more »
Surging wholesale gas and power prices have plunged the British energy market into an unprecedented crisis. Households are facing record bill increases, while start-up suppliers have been dropping like flies. By the time of this interview, 21 domestic energy retailers had collapsed in four months. According to Lewis: “We had far too many companies entering the market that were poorly capitalised, that didn’t engage in proper risk management and that were, frankly, using customers’ monies to fund their business and to gamble on wholesale prices.” Indeed, some suspect that established suppliers like Eon may be relishing the demise of smaller rivals, which have been poaching their customers for years. While Lewis concedes it’s “a good thing” that some firms offering unsustainably low prices have left the market, he laments that it’s come to this. “We’re not rubbing our hands with glee, far from it. This is really not good for the industry and it’s not good for customers.”
Times 3rd Dec 2021 read more »