October 27, 2021

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Government examining green levy lifeline for struggling energy firms

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Energy firms may be permitted to use green surcharges on household bills this winter, against a backdrop of surging gas prices. 

Ministers are reportedly looking at deferring payments due to regulator Ofgem for Renewable Obligations Certificates, according to The Telegraph.

Energy consumers fund the renewable energy initiative through surcharges totalling around £6bn per year.

Policymakers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are considering a temporary suspension of the regime to make things easier for companies.

Such a move would anger environmental campaigners, with Greenpeace saying trust would be “squandered” should the government suspend the certificates. 

String of collapses

Regulator Ofgem said a handful of suppliers – Ampoweruk, Whoop Energy, Goto Energy, Home Energy Trading and Colorado Energy – were at risk of being stripped of their operating licences for failing to stick to the certificates regime. 

“While we appreciate that there is significant change in the supply market, supplier failure to comply with these schemes and make the payments due undermines the integrity of the schemes and is unacceptable,” an Ofgem spokesperson said.

Three more challenger energy firms – Igloo Energy, Symbio Energy and ENSTROGA – collapsed last week, as smaller companies battle the weight of record high gas prices.

The latest collapses left some 233,000 customers awaiting a new supplier and join a list of now 10 firms to go bust in the past two months.

Almost 2m households have been left without a supplier.

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