The continuing wholesale gas crisis has claimed its latest victims, with Ofgem today beginning its hunt to find a new provider for the quarter of a million clients of bust retailers Pure Planet and Colorado Energy.
Pure Planet sold renewable-only energy on 235,000 dual fuel home accounts, the regulator confirmed, with Colorado energising about 15,000 homes. Neither firm is thought to have retailed power to enterprises.
Eleven licenced UK suppliers are now believed to have gone under since the start of 2021, when wholesale gas prices began their near-tripling.
The regulator’s director of retail Neil Lawrence said; “Ofgem’s number one priority is to protect customers”.
Prices on wholesale markets today continued their upward march. ERCE’s NBP monthly spot price average for natural gas stood at 293.91 pence per therm this afternoon. Twelve months ago, the equivalent was 43.22 pence.
The IEA today warned that the post-lockdown gas crisis was showing signs of spilling over into oil prices, as generators and big users of heat look to switch away from natural gas. Crude oil has been above $80 a barrel on international markets, its highest for three years.
As reported by Bloomberg, the UN body said that substitution is already happening, and “could add about 500,000 barrels a day of the global oil use on average for the next several months”.
Premier Johnson was criticised a month ago by industry observers after he described Britain’s gas distribution woes as a “short-term problem”.
The father of six admitted children and his current wife was due back in Britain this evening, after a much-lampooned four-day holiday on the borrowed Marbella estate of fellow old Etonian Zac Goldsmith.
Johnson sent his friend and junior minister to the House of Lords in 2020 as Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park. The environmental duties of the billionaire’s son include being Minister of State for the Pacific, overseeing in that region Britain’s environmental interests and the Johnson government’s reduced overseas aid budget.