Britain’s Retail Energy Segment in Trouble?

An interesting article in Forbes draws attention to the British retail energy segment and the collapse of a 10th independent retailer (Our Power) within a 12-month period. The article by Guarav Sharma draws attention to the plight of independent retailers and their customers in the UK. “A mere five years ago rising numbers of U.K. independent energy suppliers were hailed as upstarts bringing much needed competition to the British energy supply market. Unlike the so-called British ‘Big Six’ – i.e. British Gas (owned by FTSE 100 company Centrica), EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, ScottishPower and SSE – these independents do not generate electricity, instead purchase it from wholesale markets selling it on to end-consumers. However, if events of the last 12 months are anything to go by, the business model has spectacularly unraveled. On Saturday (January 26), Edinburgh-based independent Our Power, went out of business making it the tenth U.K. supplier to go under. It joined the ranks of Economy Energy, Spark Energy, Extra Energy, Future Energy, National Gas and Power, Iresa Energy, Gen4U, One Select and Usio Energy; all of which have collapsed in the past year.” He points to a mixture of challenges including managing wholesale market volatility, tougher regulations,… continue reading

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