Half of Britain’s energy companies have gone bankrupt this year. There are only 24 left. This means that 3 million households will enter winter with debt to their supplier.

  • Nearly half of all energy suppliers failed in the last year because of the crisis 
  • 24 providers remain, compared with 47 last year. 
  • Millions of homes also owe their supplier before winter.  

There were 47 domestic suppliers at the beginning of 2021, including 12 large, 12 medium, and 30 small. Now, only 24 are left.

Until now, the majority of customers of collapsing providers have been moved onto larger suppliers, increasing the market share for large suppliers from 68.5 to 70.1 percent at the beginning of the year to 70.1 to today.

Furthermore, more than 3million households are entering winter in debt to their energy supplier — half a million more than last year.

Households are going into the coldest time of year owing £510million, a rise of £77million since 2020, with many feeling additional pressures caused by the rising cost of energy, according to new research from Uswitch.

Energy purge: Avro Energy is the supplier with the largest number of domestic customers that has gone bust

Energy purge: Avro Energy has the largest number domestic customers that have gone bust.

Due to the ongoing energy crisis, most suppliers have failed. Wholesale gas prices have soared for consumers and providers. 

The cost of running a small or medium-sized business has caused it to fail and many have closed down. Customers are now moving to the Big Six firms like British Gas, Scottish Power and Scottish Power.  

Head of consumer markets at Cornwall Insight Anna Moss stated that suppliers are likely to face difficult times in the future. Suppliers of electricity balancing will face significant credit calls.

‘Trading arrangements are essential to the survival and protection of retail parties, in order to reduce uncapped imbalance prices.

“Terms that suppliers may find acceptable might not be available as wholesale counterparties may be concerned about long-term viability for businesses whose input cost exceeds their incoming revenues.

“Those who do not have long-term agreements may be forced to pay upfront, offer additional collateral in cash or equity, or buy on spot market, increasing cash flow management pressure.

“The very high wholesale price has caused significant distress even before the winter begins. How suppliers fare is in wholesale trading parties’ hands. And how suppliers can manage their expenses through the winter months.

Omni Energy, MA Energy Zebra Power, CNG Energy, Ampoweruk and Zebra Power are just a few of the energy suppliers that have gone bust this week, joining a host others.

Millions of households will be in debt to their energy supplier before winter has even begun

Millions of households will be indebted to their energy supplier before winter even begins

Three million homeowners are in debt as they enter winter.  

In order to be able to access energy accounts after the summer months, this should be the case for 13.9million households.

In the summer, credit building can help to avoid a sharp rise in bills compared to winter when we use most of our annual energy.

However, credit numbers have dropped by 4 percent compared with last year. 3million households could be having trouble paying their bills in the winter. 

62% of people in debt claim their debt is higher, or the same, than it was last year. Only 13% say that the amount they owe them is lower. The average amount owed is £153.

59% of households are worried or very concerned about how they will pay their winter energy bills.

17% of households say they will go beyond using energy more efficiently. They will turn off the heating even when it is cold. Over 2 million households will spend less food.

Justina Miltienyte is an energy policy expert at Uswitch. She stated that no customer should have to decide between heating and eating, and that it’s alarming that so many households are faced with that choice this winter.

“Anyone concerned about their energy bills, or any existing debt, should first contact their supplier to see if they are able to set up an affordable repayment plan.

StepChange, a debt charity that provides guidance to people in financial difficulties, and National Energy Action (NEA), which offers advice on energy bills as well as keeping warm at home, are two examples of charities that can help.

Schemes like the Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Pay and Warm Home Discount are available to vulnerable consumers.

Uswitch surveyed 2000 adults in September of this year.