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Small energy supplier folds as wholesale prices rise

Wholesale price increases have forced GB Energy Supply, a small domestic energy supplier, to cease trading. Market analysts are already predicting further price rises in the wholesale market, leading to increased forward purchasing prices for non-domestic customers. There is also a good chance that more suppliers will fail before the end of winter. Richard Bonelle, Managing Director at Utility Helpline said: “GB Energy Supply offered loss-making tariffs to try and tempt the most price-sensitive customers away from the big suppliers. “It’s not surprising that they haven’t been able to keep this up as wholesale prices have sky-rocketed. I think we will see it happen a few more times this winter with smaller and maybe even some medium sized suppliers.” GB Energy Supply customers have received assurances from Ofgem that they will receive a new supplier and that outstanding credit balances will be protected. Prices for crude oil have almost doubled since the start of the year. But at just under $50 per barrel, it is still less than half the price seen in 2014. In a letter to customers on the GB Energy Supply website, managing director Luke Watson said: "Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to allow us to access the best possible wholesale prices, means that the position of the business has become untenable." Energy costs are widely expected to rise next year owing to higher global prices and a weaker pound. gb-energy-suplly

Is there any impact for Utility Helpline customers?

GB Energy Supply was a purely domestic supplier, so no commercial energy customers will have been affected by their closure. But the company was purchasing from the same market as many non-domestic customers, and their closure could be viewed as a warning sign for fixed-price buyers. GB Energy Supply’s inability to forward purchase at competitive prices will be concerning to some companies, particularly those that spend a high proportion of their outgoings on energy. Forward purchasing means buying energy for a pre-determined period at a locked-down price. This type of energy buying is good for businesses that value budget certainty because it means that they can lock in prices for up to five years. However, the commonly held view that prices will rise means that forward purchasing prices have been pushed up, making energy more expensive for those looking to negotiate contracts soon. To get the best prices in this buying environment it is important that you work with someone who understands the market, and visit as many different suppliers as possible to find the cheapest business energy suppliers. Utility Helpline is a trusted energy broker that has worked with thousands of companies to find the best deal. Get in touch today and compare more than 70 tariffs from 20 suppliers. Call: 0800 043 0423.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )