Energy companies bust – live updates: Avro and Green Energy go bust as Octopus and Bulb tell customers not to panic

ENERGY firms are rushing to reassure customers who fear their supplier could be the next to collapse as the industry reaches crisis point. 

Bulb and Octopus are among the firms telling customers not to panic as a string of energy providers have collapsed.

Soaring gas prices have caused a number of suppliers to cease trading in recent weeks, and there are fears more could follow. 

This week it was revealed that Bulb was seeking a cash injection to help shore up its finances. 

Meanwhile an Octopus Energy spokesperson said: “Customers should not worry. The government’s energy price cap is doing its job and protecting them against price spikes. 

Read our energy companies live blog for live updates on the crisis…

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    Which Companies Have Gone Bust?

    Avro, with 580,000 domestic gas and electricity customers, became the biggest of a series of recent failures in the energy market on Wednesday, with the number of collapsed companies accounting for more than 5% of the market.

    Green – which also closed on Wednesday – PFP, MoneyPlus, Utility Point and People's Energy have all exited the supply market in just over two weeks.

    HUB Energy, which had 6,000 customers, stopped trading last month.

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    Labour: Government Warned 18 Months Ago

    Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband quoted a letter from energy regulator Ofgem warning of a "systemic risk to the energy supply as a whole" which had been sent 18 months ago.

    Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted that the details show the Government was "warned about a looming crisis and didn't prepare".

    Speaking in the Commons, Mr Miliband accused ministers of being "complacent" about the shock that rising gas prices could wreak upon the market, as well as families and the cost of living.

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    Government Denies "Complacency" Over Energy Warnings

    Ministers have denied being complacent over 18-month-old warnings about risks to the UK's energy supply after 1.5 million people were left without a provider.

    A host of energy companies have gone to the wall in recent weeks after the sector was hit by rocketing global wholesale gas prices.

    With 800,000 consumers losing their suppliers on Wednesday alone, two energy companies have since looked to make it more difficult for new customers to sign up for their services as they attempt to survive the current turbulence.

    Bulb scrapped its popular refer-a-friend scheme as it tries to raise new cash, while rival Ovo Energy changed its website by removing an invite to "get an energy quote in under two minutes".

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    ‘No glee’

    The founder of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, has also taken to social media to speak to customers in recent days. 

    He tweeted: “As a global, very well backed company we’re find but plenty more are not. 

    “There’s no glee in seeing other companies fail, which is why we’ve launched a special recruitment drive to help some of those losing their jobs in those companies.” 

    He also tweeted last night from an industry awards ceremony where Octopus took home the title of “Supplier of the Year” and an award for digital innovation.

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    Price hike

    Millions of Brits face a £400 hike in their gas and electricity bills this winter as the energy crisis deepens.

    Families whose supplier goes bust face being bumped up onto much higher tariffs when they’re switched to a new provider.

    Ministers have admitted it’s “not going to be possible” to “guarantee” that households will be able to keep the cheapest rates.

    The energy price cap, which limits what firms can charge, has been set at £1,277 for the next six months.

    But that’s at least £400 more than many families on the lowest tariffs.

  • Milica Cosic

    Heating or eating

    The business minister faced a barrage of questions about the rising cost of living sparked by the energy crisis.

    No 10 is coming under growing pressure to reverse the planned end to the £20 Universal Credit uplift introduced during the pandemic.

    Critics have warned taking away the extra cash from the end of next month will face families having to choose between heating and eating.

    But Mr Scully insisted the only way to pay for the £6billion-a-year policy would be to heap even more taxes on working people.

    He said: "The Chancellor will look at the whole aspect of public finances in the Budget and the Spending Review that is coming up.

    "But if you were to reverse the Universal Credit as it is, you would have to put up income tax by the equivalent of a penny and 3p on fuel.

    "What you don't want to be doing, for the lowest paid in particular, is giving with one hand and taking and increasing taxes with the other."

    But he admitted: "We know this is going to be a tough winter."

  • Milica Cosic

    Millions of Brits face £400 energy bill hike

    MILLIONS of Brits face a £400 hike in their gas and electricity bills this winter as the energy crisis deepens.

    Families whose supplier goes bust face being bumped up onto much higher tariffs when they're switched to a new provider.

    Ministers have admitted it's "not going to be possible" to "guarantee" that households will be able to keep the cheapest rates.

    The energy price cap, which limits what firms can charge, has been set at £1,277 for the next six months.

    But that's at least £400 more than many families on the lowest tariffs.

    The cap, which is set by industry watchdog Ofgem, is going up by 12% from October.

  • Milica Cosic

    Tesco and BP close petrol stations

    TESCO and BP have been forced to close petrol stations after running out of fuel.

    Deliveries have been impacted by a shortage of HGV lorry drivers in the UK.

    BP is reportedly preparing to restrict fuel deliveries to forecourts due to lorry driver shortages.

    The oil and gas giant told the government last week that the situation is urgent and "very bad", ITV News said.

  • John Hall

    What's happening?

    Natural gas prices are soaring across the world as economies finally being to fire up again after 18 months in hibernation during the pandemic.

    That has put huge strain on energy providers with nine having now gone bust this year, affecting almost two million customers.

    Suppliers are heaping pressure on Boris Johnson to temporarily scrap the price cap so that they can charge higher prices.

  • John Hall

    'Tough winter'

    Mr Scully insisted the only way to pay for the £6billion-a-year policy would be to heap even more taxes on working people.

    He said: "The Chancellor will look at the whole aspect of public finances in the Budget and the Spending Review that is coming up.

    "But if you were to reverse the Universal Credit as it is, you would have to put up income tax by the equivalent of a penny and 3p on fuel.

    "What you don't want to be doing, for the lowest paid in particular, is giving with one hand and taking and increasing taxes with the other."

    But he admitted: "We know this is going to be a tough winter."

  • John Hall

    Heating or eating

    The business minister faced a barrage of questions about the rising cost of living sparked by the energy crisis.

    No 10 is coming under growing pressure to reverse the planned end to the £20 Universal Credit uplift introduced during the pandemic.

    Critics have warned taking away the extra cash from the end of next month will face families having to choose between heating and eating.

  • John Hall

    What if my energy supplier goes bust?

    If your supplier folds, your energy won't be cut off, so there's no need to panic.

    Ofgem will arrange an interim supplier so you won't have to go without.

    Customers affected will be contacted by the new supplier, which will be chosen by Ofgem. 

    The new firm won't have to honour the deal you were on with your previous provider, but any credit on your account will be protected.

    It is recommended that you take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.

    Other charities also recommend keeping old energy bills and waiting until your new supplier is appointed before cancelling any direct debits.

  • John Hall

    'No glee'

    The founder of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, has also taken to social media to speak to customers in recent days. 

    He tweeted: “As a global, very well backed company we’re find but plenty more are not. 

    “There’s no glee in seeing other companies fail, which is why we’ve launched a special recruitment drive to help some of those losing their jobs in those companies.” 

    He also tweeted last night from an industry awards ceremony where Octopus took home the title of “Supplier of the Year” and an award for digital innovation.

  • John Hall

    'Well-oiled process'

    An Octopus Energy spokesperson said: “Customers should not worry. The government’s energy price cap is doing its job and protecting them against price spikes. 

    “The industry, including Octopus Energy, has worked closely with Ofgem and the government in the past when supplier failures have happened and there is a well-oiled process in place.

    "As one of the largest, best backed, best run companies in the sector, we will do all we can to support consumers, government and Ofgem as they work through this."

  • John Hall

    Under pressure

    Some major firms have called for the Government to scrap green levies to ease pressure on the industry.

    But others say the current situation is evidence that Britain needs to ramp up its sustainable energy capabilities and reduce its reliance on gas. 

  • John Hall

    'Don't worry'

    In a blog post this week, Bulb said: "We want to be clear that Bulb members don't need to worry about their supply of energy.

    "We buy our energy in advance and this means we're protected from the current wholesale costs that some smaller companies have struggled to manage."

    Some industry commentators have said it is only “less prudently run” or “less well-backed suppliers” who have collapsed as gas prices have risen

  • John Hall

    Bulb reassures customers

    This week it was revealed that Bulb was seeking a cash injection to help shore up its finances. 

    The firm has been keen to reassure its customers that there is no need to panic. A Bulb spokesperson said: “From time to time we explore various opportunities to fund out business plans and further our mission to lower bills and lower CO2.

    “Like everyone in the industry, we’re monitoring wholesale prices and their impact on our business.”

  • John Hall

    Price hike

    Millions of Brits face a £400 hike in their gas and electricity bills this winter as the energy crisis deepens.

    Families whose supplier goes bust face being bumped up onto much higher tariffs when they're switched to a new provider.

    Ministers have admitted it's "not going to be possible" to "guarantee" that households will be able to keep the cheapest rates.

    The energy price cap, which limits what firms can charge, has been set at £1,277 for the next six months.

    But that's at least £400 more than many families on the lowest tariffs.

  • John Hall

    What's happening?

    Natural gas prices are soaring across the world as economies finally being to fire up again after 18 months in hibernation during the pandemic.

    That has put huge strain on energy providers with nine having now gone bust this year, affecting almost two million customers.

    Suppliers are heaping pressure on Boris Johnson to temporarily scrap the price cap so that they can charge higher prices.

  • John Hall

    'Tough winter'

    Mr Scully insisted the only way to pay for the £6billion-a-year policy would be to heap even more taxes on working people.

    He said: "The Chancellor will look at the whole aspect of public finances in the Budget and the Spending Review that is coming up.

    "But if you were to reverse the Universal Credit as it is, you would have to put up income tax by the equivalent of a penny and 3p on fuel.

    "What you don't want to be doing, for the lowest paid in particular, is giving with one hand and taking and increasing taxes with the other."

    But he admitted: "We know this is going to be a tough winter."

  • John Hall

    Heating or eating

    The business minister faced a barrage of questions about the rising cost of living sparked by the energy crisis.

    No 10 is coming under growing pressure to reverse the planned end to the £20 Universal Credit uplift introduced during the pandemic.

    Critics have warned taking away the extra cash from the end of next month will face families having to choose between heating and eating.

  • John Hall

    What if my energy supplier goes bust?

    If your supplier folds, your energy won't be cut off, so there's no need to panic.

    Ofgem will arrange an interim supplier so you won't have to go without.

    Customers affected will be contacted by the new supplier, which will be chosen by Ofgem. 

    The new firm won't have to honour the deal you were on with your previous provider, but any credit on your account will be protected.

    It is recommended that you take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.

    Other charities also recommend keeping old energy bills and waiting until your new supplier is appointed before cancelling any direct debits.

  • John Hall

    'No glee'

    The founder of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, has also taken to social media to speak to customers in recent days. 

    He tweeted: “As a global, very well backed company we’re find but plenty more are not. 

    “There’s no glee in seeing other companies fail, which is why we’ve launched a special recruitment drive to help some of those losing their jobs in those companies.” 

    He also tweeted last night from an industry awards ceremony where Octopus took home the title of “Supplier of the Year” and an award for digital innovation.

  • John Hall

    'Well-oiled process'

    An Octopus Energy spokesperson said: “Customers should not worry. The government’s energy price cap is doing its job and protecting them against price spikes. 

    “The industry, including Octopus Energy, has worked closely with Ofgem and the government in the past when supplier failures have happened and there is a well-oiled process in place.

    "As one of the largest, best backed, best run companies in the sector, we will do all we can to support consumers, government and Ofgem as they work through this."

  • John Hall

    Under pressure

    Some major firms have called for the Government to scrap green levies to ease pressure on the industry.

    But others say the current situation is evidence that Britain needs to ramp up its sustainable energy capabilities and reduce its reliance on gas. 

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