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Energy crisis talks to be had between the government and Ofgem

The British Government is considering loans for struggling suppliers.

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By Matt Maynard · 20th September 2021

With the cost of energy bills increasing at an alarming rate and suppliers going bust, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will have talks with the energy industry's regulator Ofgem and supplier bosses later today. 

A number of energy suppliers have already ceased trading due to the staggering surge in wholesale energy prices and now Bulb, a stalwart of the industry, is seeking government bailout to stop it from ceasing trade, with another four smaller suppliers expected to go bust in the coming days. 

At the beginning of the year there were an abundant 70 suppliers for consumers to choose from, but with the wholesale energy price surge, there could be as little as 10 left by the end of 2021. 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, insists the struggles our suppliers are facing is a struggle that is shared across the globe, with increased demand from Asia attributing to the surge in gas prices.

Nick Butler, visiting professor and chair of the Policy Institute at King's College London has said "all of the focus in Whitehall has been on climate change. For the moment, we're very reliant on oil and gas and when gas gets short in the world market, it hits back here."

Mr Johnson has warned that Britain's supply problems could last for months, as he has blamed such issues on the "global economy coming back to life" after numerous coronavirus lockdowns. The Prime Minister also said, when questioned if the industry could recover faster he said, "It could be faster than that, it could be much faster, but there are problems as you know with shipping, with containers, with staff - there are all sorts of problems."

"The gas supply issue is global, the HGV issue is in the US as well as in Europe, so we are seeing these same sorts of problems everywhere. But I think market forces will be very, very swift in sorting it, and we're going to do whatever we can to help."

Source: Sky News & BBC News

What happens if my supplier goes bust?

If your supplier goes bust, you will be caught by Ofgem's safety net, so do not worry.

Ofgem will find a new supplier and a new tariff for you, and will honour any outstanding credit you had with your old supplier. 

You can switch if you're not happy with your new supplier and tariff, but you must wait until you've had confirmation that the switch to your new supplier has been complete to avoid any complications. 

For more information on the energy industry right now, see our following guides:

Why have energy deals disappeared? 

What can I do about rising energy costs?

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