Energy firms like Avro have been struggling with a huge increase in the price of gas, which many can’t pass on to consumers – forcing them out of business instead
Energy supplier Avro Energy has stopped trading, the firm has announced, affecting 580,000 customers.
Avro had around 3% of all energy customers in the UK, according to regulator Ofgem.
Earlier today Green Supplier also ceased trading, with 255,000 people hit – around 1% of all energy users.
A statement on the Avro website says: “Avro Energy is ceasing to trade. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is appointing a new supplier for its customers.
“Customers need not worry, their supplies are secure and domestic credit balances are protected.”
Here are your rights if your energy supplier collapses.
Ofgem said it would protect the credit balances of all the customers of Avro and Green Supplier.
An Ofgem statement blamed an “unprecedented increase in global gas prices” for the collapse of the two energy firms today.
Ofgem 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 customers of Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited that they do not need to worry.
“Under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue. If you have credit on your Avro Energy or Green Supplier Limited account this is protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.”
Ministers this week ruled out stepping in to prop up companies who are struggling to shoulder the costs of rising gas prices which, in the UK, closed at an all-time high on Monday.
Energy prices are rising at an eye-watering rate due to surging demand post Covid, low wind speeds in Europe and power station closures, as well as a fire in Kent which cut off power supplies from France.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that the energy crisis is only a ‘short-term problem’ and denied that the country is experiencing a gas shortage.
Earlier this week Green organised a letter from 15 smaller suppliers which criticised both business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Ofgem for failing to engage with them.
How the gas shortage affects you
The group of smaller suppliers said they felt ignored by the government, even as wholesale gas prices had surged by 70% since the announcement of the revised Ofgem price cap.
On Monday, calls to lift the energy price cap were written off by the government – suspending it next year would have allowed firms to hike prices at an unlimited rate to claw back cash from households.
The letter said that Ofgem was “currently unfit to regulate an industry they have appeared to have a vested interest in or turning a blind eye to the market returning to a selective monopoly and a reduction in competition”.