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70,000 households hit as two more energy suppliers go out of business


By PA News

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Dozens of energy companies have failed since the start of September (Peter Byrne/PA)

Another 70,000 households have seen their energy supplier go out of business as another two firms were squeezed out of the market.

Entice Energy, which had 5,400 households on its books, and Orbit Energy, which supplies 65,000 customers, are both closing their doors.

Regulator Ofgem said that it would ensure all the customers find a new home at a different energy supplier.

They can continue to use energy as normal and will be contacted by their new supplier in time. Their bills might change following the switch.

I want to reassure affected customers that they do not need to worry; under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue
Neil Lawrence, Ofgem

The companies join a club of two dozen to go out of business in less than three months, as companies were squeezed into failure by a spike in global gas prices. Another small supplier collapsed in August.

In total around four million customers have been hit by the failures.

The biggest failure to date has been Bulb, once an energy success story which fell into administration on Wednesday.

While customers of the other 23 failed energy companies will be moved to a new supplier by Ofgem, Bulb simply had too many customers for this to be possible.

Instead it will continue to trade until it can be sold, or its customers slowly moved elsewhere.

The Government has set aside £1.7 billion to support the company’s operations in the meanwhile, a burden which could find its way onto household energy bills.

After the failures of Orbit and Entice, Ofgem’s director of retail, Neil Lawrence, said: “Ofgem’s number one priority is to protect customers. We know this is a worrying time for many people and news of a supplier going out of business can be unsettling.

“I want to reassure affected customers that they do not need to worry; under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue.”

Customers should take a meter reading now for when their new supplier gets in touch.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said: “The increases in global gas prices we’ve seen this year have been significant, but should not have led to the collapse of 25 firms.

“As suppliers continue to fall like dominoes, it’s clear the market is not functioning as it should and there are serious questions for Ofgem to answer about how this has been allowed to happen.”

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