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Four more small energy suppliers go bust due to soaring prices

Four more small energy suppliers go bust due to soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices

Four more energy suppliers have gone bust meaning 19 have folded since August under the strain of soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices.

The collapses mean around 23,700 households and businesses will switch suppliers, energy watchdog Ofgem said.

Omni Energy, MA Energy, Zebra Power and Ampoweruk all said they will cease trading.

Burned out:  UK energy suppliers Omni Energy, MA Energy, Zebra Power and Ampoweruk all said they will cease trading

It comes after supplier Bluegreen Energy Services, which had 5,900 customers, collapsed on Monday as soaring gas prices put the squeeze on the sector.

Ofgem said Zebra Power supplies about 14,800 UK customers while Omni Energy supplies about 6,000.

MA Energy supplies about 300 business customers and Ampoweruk supplies about 600 domestic customers and some 2,000 businesses.

A price cap on tariffs means that as wholesale prices soar energy firms pay more for gas and electricity than they can charge their customers.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy for Citizens Advice, said: ‘Suppliers continue to fall like dominoes. It’s customers who are paying the price, with uncertainty, inconvenience and ultimately higher bills.’

The firms that collapsed yesterday are among the smallest but take the total number of UK households that have lost their energy supplier well over 2m.

The continuing collapse of suppliers will add as much as £200 to the energy bills of every home in the country next year, the boss of British gas owner Centrica warned last month.

The shortfall is between £700 and £1,000 for each customer and has created a hole worth about £2.5billion which will have to be paid by everyone in 2022 and 2023, Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea said.

Ofgem said that it will choose a new supplier for affected customers, who will be contacted. It assured customers energy supply and funds paid into accounts will be protected.

It added that households will also be protected by the energy price cap when being switched to a new provider.

Ofgem retail director Neil Lawrence said: ‘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 affected customers 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 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.’