Four more energy firms collapse taking total number failing during crisis to 18

Four more energy suppliers in the UK have collapsed amid the crisis enveloping the sector as a result of surging wholesale gas prices.

Omni Energy, MA Energy Limited, Zebra Power and Ampoweruk served a total of 21,400 domestic and 2,300 non-domestic customers.

Their demise, the day after that of another small supplier, Bluegreen, takes the number of energy companies that have gone bust since the start of September to 18.

The crisis has come about after wholesale gas prices surged to record highs and, though prices have since eased, they remain several times higher than typical levels seen over recent years.

It means that in many cases, suppliers have been having to buy energy on wholesale markets which they are then contracted to sell on at a lower price to their customers.

More than two million customers have been affected by the company collapses so far.

Last week, Sky News revealed that the government was accelerating contingency plans for the demise of Bulb, Britain’s seventh biggest energy supplier with around 1.7 million household customers.

The latest announcement concerned four much smaller firms.

Omni Energy supplied around 6,000 domestic pre-payment customers while MA Energy had 300 non-domestic customers and Zebra Power served 14,800 households.

Ampoweruk, which said in a statement on its website that it had ceased trading after finding itself in an “unsustainable situation”, had 600 domestic and around 2,000 non-domestic customers.

Ofgem, the industry regulator, sought to reassure customers that their supply would continue and funds that household users have paid into their accounts will be protected where they are in credit.

Domestic customers will also be protected by the energy price cap when being switched to a new supplier – which will be chosen by the regulator.

Customers are advised to wait until a new supplier is appointed and not switch in the meantime.

On Friday, Ofgem said it would consult on changes to the price cap because the ongoing industry crisis had “changed the perception of risk and uncertainty in this market”.

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