Three more UK energy suppliers go bust amid surge in wholesale gas prices

A person adjusts their gas boiler
The control panel of a gas combination boiler, at a home in north London. Credit: PA

Three more small energy suppliers have gone bust as wholesale gas prices continue to soar, the regulator Ofgem has said.

Enstroga supplies around 6,000 domestic customers while Symbio supplies around 48,000 and Igloo provides around 179,000 with gas and electricity.

The suppliers, which represent less than 1% of the UK market, are the latest companies to go under as surging gas prices make price promises to customers undeliverable.

It comes after failures by People’s Energy, Green Supplier Ltd, Utility Point, PfP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, and Avro Energy.

The latest announcement brings the total number of firms to have gone bust in recent weeks to nine, affecting some 1.73m customers.

In a press release published this afternoon, Ofgem said customers will be allocated an alternative supplier, as the regulator reassured consumers their energy supplies will not be stopped.

“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," Neil Lawrence, Director of Retail at Ofgem, said.

“If you have credit on your Enstroga, Igloo Energy or Symbio Energy account the funds you have paid in are protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you. “Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime.”

A gas ring on a home cooker in London. Credit: PA

Ofgem added that it was working closely with the government and industry to make sure customers continued to be protected this winter.

The price of wholesale gas has surged by 250% since the beginning of the year and has risen by 70% since August, according to figures from Oil & Gas UK, putting pressure on UK suppliers.It has been blamed on a number of factors, including a cold winter which left stocks depleted, high demand for liquefied natural gas from Asia and a reduction in supplies from Russia.

Electricity pylons carry power away from Dungeness nuclear power station in Kent. Credit: PA

Energy companies have begun the process of absorbing customers from their now-defunct competitors after the huge spike in gas prices. Shell Energy, for example, is to take on 255,000 former customers from Green, while Octopus Energy will take on Avro’s 580,000 customers.