The business secretary and the head of the UK’s energy regulator have said they are committed to ensuring “the least disruption possible” when energy firms collapse amid rising gas prices.
Kwasi Kwarteng and Ofgem Chief Executive Jonathan Brearley issued a joint statement in which they promised “continuous support for energy customers” as suppliers struggle to stay in business.
When one energy supplier shuts down, the offgame switches homes to another to avoid a gas or energy switch off – but that can result in higher bills.
Many companies have already turned around because of the boom in gas prices. Since January, global gas prices have risen by 250 percent.
“The recent increase in wholesale global gas prices continues to be a cause of concern to consumers, businesses and energy suppliers across the UK”, Mr Quarteng and Mr Brearley said in their statement.
“We want to be clear that this is not an issue of supply – the United Kingdom benefits from having a diverse range of gas supply sources with capacities that can more than meet demand.
“This morning we hosted a roundtable with leading energy suppliers and consumer groups to learn about the challenges they currently face.
“There was a broad consensus among meeting participants that the top priority should be continued support for energy customers, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
“If an energy supplier fails, we are committed to ensuring that consumers face the least amount of disruption – and have clear and well-established processes to ensure this.”
Gas prices have risen amid rising demand as economies rebound from Covid-19. In addition, a cold winter has left stocks low, while low winds in the summer mean less renewable energy and more demand for gas.
The UK also has a much lower level of gas stories than many other European countries, mainly because storage capacity has been exhausted in recent years. It is more dependent on gas that is used to heat most homes and generates about 40 percent of its electricity.
Although individual households are unlikely to have energy shutdowns, an increase in gas prices is likely to lead to an increase in the price of goods. It has already closed two British fertilizer plants, which has had an impact on the availability of carbon dioxide, which is used in farming and other forms of food production.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /