UK Energy Firm Becomes Latest Victim of Gas Price Surge After BP Pulls Plug

© REUTERS / PHIL NOBLEFILE PHOTO: A disused gas holder is seen behind a road sign for Energy Street in Manchester
FILE PHOTO: A disused gas holder is seen behind a road sign for Energy Street in Manchester - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
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Ten UK energy billing companies have gone bankrupt since August as gas prices soared on predictions of increased demand following unusually cold weather last winter and spring. But the government has refused to raise the household tariff price cap.
A British household energy billing firm is set to go bust amid rising natural gas prices after investor and hydrocarbons giant BP cut off funding.
Pure Planet, which claims to have 250,000 customers, has begun talks with energy regulator Ofgem on initiating the Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR) process for failing companies to transfer their clients to other 'suppliers'.
Pure Planet was founded in 2015 as Tulip Energy, but rebranded after BP became a 24 per cent shareholder and energy supplier to the firm.
Sky news reported that a source close to BP said the fuel giant had decided to cut off funding from the small firm which owed it an undisclosed sum of money.
FILE PHOTO: Conservative Party Conference in Manchester - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
UK Gov't Stands Firm on Household Price Cap Amid Energy Market Jitters
Britain's privatised energy market has scores of companies competing to act as intermediaries between the generating and supply monopolies and consumers, reading household meters and billing users.
The actual supply infrastructure is run by regional Distribution Network Operator (DNO) organisations, currently controlled by just seven companies, while generation is in the hands of other firms — including the French state-owned national power utility EDF.
A total of 10 smaller billing firms have gone bust since August as speculation on the gas futures market has seen wholesale prices double in weeks. The largest of those was Avro Energy, which had 580,000 customers before filing for insolvency in September.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement on Wednesday that national gas company Gazprom would honour all supply contracts burst the market bubble — with the pending start of operations from the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline across the Baltic Sea set to increase flow further.
But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has insisted that the price cap on household energy bills will not be lifted.
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