Energy supplier Pure Planet is reportedly near collapse, becoming the latest victim of the UK gas crisis.
As reported by Sky News, the company – which is partially owned by BP – is in talks with government regulator Ofgem to initiate the Supplier of Last Resort (SLR) process and transfer its 250,000 clients to other providers.
A source told the outlet that BP – which started investing in Pure Planet in 2017 – decided to stop funding the company amid the current situation. When approached by City A.M., BP refused to comment.
If the company goes through the SLR process, it will be the last of a long list of energy operators – including People’s Energy, Igloo Energy and Green Energy – to collapse because of the increase in prices.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, the chief executive of energy provider OVO, told the BBC this morning that many companies will have a “hard time”.
“I think over the past couple of years it’s become too easy to get into the energy market, it’s a very complicated industry and I think some people have underestimated the risks and how complicated it is,” he said.
“There are lots of different scenarios and at the moment the big issue is not about the temperature and how cold it is, because we can look back in time and say this is how much energy we use at different temperatures and so on.
“The big uncertainty we’ve got at the moment is around price – prices are up 1,000 per cent already in twelve months.”
As the UK Government is currently planning a carbon levy to fund low-carbon heating, gas bills will continue to increase. A government spokesperson said that while “no decisions have been taken”, the government wants to encourage people “to take up more efficient technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles by removing levies on electricity over time.”
“The UK’s exposure to volatile global gas prices underscores the need to move away from fossil fuels to protect consumers in the long term,” they added.
The government has been under fire in the last few days as it was accused of downplaying the severity of the current situation. Last week, shadow business and energy secretary Ed Milliband said the number of energy providers going bust was not “a normal course of events”, while today the Labour party accused the Prime Minister of going on holiday while the country faces both the energy and living cost crises.
“Britain is experiencing a fuel crisis, empty supermarket shelves and cuts to family finances caused by the Conservatives. Where’s Boris Johnson? On holiday in Spain,” said the Labour party via Twitter.