Energy crisis: Government strikes deal to restart CO2 production as Ofgem orders firms to pay tariff

·30-min read

The government has reached a deal with American firm CF Industries to restart carbon dioxide production at its UK plants in Cheshire and Teesside.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng met with the company over the weekend, after it had stopped work at its plants following a spike in global gas prices.

The halt in production has led to a food production crisis, as CO2 is used widely in food processing, from packaging meat and other foodstuffs to providing the carbonation in beer and other fizzy drinks.

It comes as the government’s cap on energy prices looks set to rise by a further £178 per year from April 2022 as gas prices soar, according to modelling from researchers at a market intelligence agency.

Cornwall Insight’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April next year.

This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

Meanwhile, Ofgem has ordered five energy suppliers to pay the money they owe into a government renewable energy scheme.

The Feed In Tariff was due last Friday, and Colorado Energy, Igloo Energy, Neon Reef Energy, Whoop Energy and Symbio Energy all risk facing fines or losing their licence if they fail to make their payments.

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Key Points

  • Gas price cap will stay, Kwarteng and Ofgem insist

  • Fears of blackouts for industry if harsh winter strikes Europe

  • ‘It could be a very difficult winter,’ Kwasi Kwarteng admits

  • Shoppers may notice products missing from shelves ‘in about 10 days’

  • Energy price cap could rise by £178 per year from 2022, researchers suggest

  • Cabinet minister hints at deal over carbon dioxide shortage

  • Government strikes deal to restart CO2 production

  • Ofgem orders five energy firms to pay overdue tariff

Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:14 , Chiara Giordano

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage as gas prices hit record highs. We’ll be bringing you the latest news and updates throughout the day.

Gas price cap will stay, Kwarteng and Ofgem insist

Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:16 , Chiara Giordano

Energy companies and the government agreed the energy price cap must "remain in place" during crunch talks to find a solution to record gas costs.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a crisis meeting with the industry before announcing to the Commons that ministers would not be bailing out energy firms and that the energy price cap would be "staying".

In a joint statement issued late on Monday evening, Mr Kwarteng and Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley confirmed they had taken a unified position over the price ceiling continuing.

"Central to any next steps is our clear and agreed position that the energy price cap will remain in place," they said.

Mr Kwarteng had earlier told MPs the cap saves 15 million households up to £100 a year, adding: "It's not going anywhere."

Britain risks blackouts for industry if harsh winter strikes Europe

Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:21 , Chiara Giordano

A harsh winter could force the UK to restrict business’ energy supplies shutting down factories in a throw-back to the three-day week of the 1970s, according to sector experts.

The UK’s gas storage would run low within weeks if there was a Europe-wide supply crunch triggered by a severe winter, according to academics and consultants who have advised the UK on energy security and market capacity.

Our economics editor Anna Isaac and business correspondent Ben Chapman have the full story:

Britain risks energy blackouts for industry if harsh winter strikes

‘It could be a very difficult winter,’ Kwasi Kwarteng admits

Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:29 , Chiara Giordano

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted “it could be a very difficult winter” when asked about the worries for families who may be faced with choosing between heating their homes and putting food on the table due to rising National Insurance, soaring fuel costs and a cut to Universal Credit.

“It’s a difficult situation, it could be a very difficult winter,” he told BBC Breakfast.

He added: “You’re right to mention the National Insurance price tax rise, but of course that kicks in in April, so it’s not strictly a winter issue.

“You’re also right to say that we face a global energy spike in terms of prices. But I’ve said that there are mechanisms in place now to protect consumers, I’ve been very clear that the energy price cap is staying even though some energy companies I read today are asking for it to be removed, I’ve been very clear that that’s staying, so we’re protecting customers there.

“We’ve got the warm home discount, we’ve got winter fuel payments, which are again focused on the most vulnerable customers.”

Business secretary refuses to rule out energy price cap rising again in April

Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:40 , Chiara Giordano

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng refused to rule out the energy price cap rising in April next year.

Asked whether the cap could rise again once the current period expires, he told BBC Breakfast: "There are always fears that the price cap may go up, but, of course, it can also go down.

"We don't know, frankly, what the gas price is going to be in six months' time."

He added: "I'd love to be able to inform you six months ahead of time what the energy prices will be.

"All I'm saying is that we are going to have a cap, we're not going to go back to the world where a few...companies essentially can set whatever fees they want, whatever prices they want. That's not something that I want to see again."

Shoppers may notice products missing from shelves ‘in about 10 days’, says food and drink boss

Tuesday 21 September 2021 08:49 , Chiara Giordano

Shoppers may notice products are missing from supermarket shelves "in about 10 days", the chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation has said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ian Wright described the potential shortages of CO2 supply as "a real crisis" and said "the just-in-time system which underpins both supermarkets and hospitality industry is under the most strain it has ever been in the 40 years it has been there".

He said poultry production will begin to erode very seriously by the end of this week, with the same being true of pig production and the making of bakery goods. Meat packaging is probably only about a week behind, he added.

He said: "We probably have about 10 days before this gets to the point where consumers, shoppers and diners notice that those products are not available."

Kwasi Kwarteng hopes to have ‘very clear plan’ to get CO2 production up and running this week

Tuesday 21 September 2021 09:00 , Chiara Giordano

The business secretary said he hoped to have a “very clear plan” to get CO2 production back up and running this week.

Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News he was “confident” of a resolution and “it’s pretty imminent”, adding the CO2 situation was “critical”.

He said: “I’m very confident and hopeful that we can sort it out by the end of the week.”

Mr Kwarteng said: “I think we have to have a diversity of sources of carbon dioxide there. CF isn’t the only company that manufactures carbon dioxide.

“They have a big share of market, I said they weren’t the only one. But they are ... a big part of the carbon dioxide market.”

Not every energy company can expect government bailout, says Kwarteng

Tuesday 21 September 2021 09:17 , Chiara Giordano

The business secretary has said not every energy company can expect a government bailout.

Speaking on Times Radio, Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I think one of the things I’ve established as a principle is that I don’t believe taxpayers’ money should be funnelled into companies that have been badly run.

“So ... not every company in the sector can expect the government bailouts. I’ve been very clear about that.”

He added: “The way that markets work is the badly-run companies often go out of business, that’s a natural process.”

Propping up UK’s biggest CO2 supplier would only ever be temporary, says Kwarteng

Tuesday 21 September 2021 09:30 , Chiara Giordano

Propping up the UK’s biggest supplier of CO2 would only ever be on a temporary basis, the business secretary has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme any assistance was still being discussed after he spoke to the chief executive of CF Industries twice in the last two days.

But he said: “Time is of the essence, and that’s why I spoke to the CEO, speaking to him twice in the last two days, and we’re hopeful that we can get something sorted today and get the production up and running in the next few days.”

Mr Kwarteng said “it will come at some cost... it may come at some cost, we’re still hammering out details, we’re still looking at a plan”.

But he added: “I have to say if there is support provided, that will be on a temporary basis, that’s not something that we want to do indefinitely.”

Some families will have to choose between eating and heating homes, business secretary admits

Tuesday 21 September 2021 09:52 , Chiara Giordano

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted there would be families this winter who would have to choose between eating and heating their homes.

Mr Kwarteng was appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain when host Susanna Reid told him families would face “the choice between heating their homes and staying warm or eating, parents who may forego meals in order to feed their kids”.

She said: “You need to be able to offer them some hope.”

The business secretary replied: “You’re right, and that’s why I’m very keen to keep the warm home discount and also there are other winter fuel payments that we’re looking at.”

Asked whether he had asked chancellor Rishi Sunak to raise the warm home discount, he said: “We have discussions about the budget, and you will see what happens in the budget. I can’t possibly pre-empt or anticipate what will be in that budget ahead of time, you’ll appreciate that.”

Next few months could be ‘very difficult winter’ for those hit by benefit cuts, business secretary says

Tuesday 21 September 2021 10:18 , Chiara Giordano

The next few months could end up being "a very difficult winter" for those hit by benefit cuts, tax hikes, and rising household bills, the business secretary has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng acknowledged “vulnerable customers” of energy companies would be facing a difficult situation over the winter, especially if they relied on Universal Credit to make ends meet.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has more details:

Next few months could be ‘very difficult winter’, business secretary says

Energy price cap could rise by £178 per year from 2022, researchers suggest

Tuesday 21 September 2021 10:48 , Chiara Giordano

The government’s cap on energy prices looks set to rise by a further £178 per year from April 2022 as gas prices soar, according to modelling from researchers at Cornwall Insight, a market intelligence agency.

The agency’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April.

This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

Senior consultant Dr Craig Lowrey said: “Although the winter 2021-22 cap was a new record (£1,277 for a typical dual fuel direct debit customer), Cornwall Insight modelling indicates that - given the extent of the increases in the wholesale market and the manner in which the cap is set - this is set to be surpassed by that for summer 2022.”

The forecasts also predicted that prices would remain high - at £1,416 - next winter.

Boris Johnson admits he cannot rule out restrictions and disruption at Christmas

Tuesday 21 September 2021 10:51 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has admitted he cannot guarantee a normal Christmas this year, as Britain grapples with disruption to goods supplies caused by gas price hikes and shortages of lorry drivers, as well as the potential of another spike in coronavirus cases.

The prime minister insisted it was “very much not the plan” to cancel Christmas for a second year in succession, after he ordered Britons to avoid family get-togethers as the Kent variant of Covid-19 sent cases soaring last December.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details:

Johnson admits he can’t guarantee normal Christmas amid Covid and supply chaos

No ‘blank cheque’ for large energy companies taking on customers from collapsed firms

Tuesday 21 September 2021 11:14 , Chiara Giordano

Any support for large energy companies taking on customers from those which collapsed will not be “a blank cheque”.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast earlier today: “Any support for those larger companies will be in terms of working capital, will be a loan, it won’t be just a grant, it won’t be just a blank cheque.

“It will be something where - if we do have this facility, if we do have this policy - they will be expected to pay back the loans, whereas in the case of a bailout, that’s what it is. It’s just a bailout where you grant money, taxpayers’ money, and the taxpayer doesn’t see any return from that.”

Energy price cap should ‘remain in place’, Ofgem and business secretary insist

Tuesday 21 September 2021 11:45 , Chiara Giordano

The government and energy companies have agreed that an energy price cap should “remain in place” during crisis talks to find a solution to surging gas costs.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a meeting with the industry before announcing to the Commons that ministers would not be bailing out energy firms and that the energy price cap would be “staying”.

My colleague Joe Middleton has the full story:

Energy price cap should ‘remain in place’, Ofgem and business secretary insist

Everything you need to know about the UK’s energy and gas price crisis

Tuesday 21 September 2021 12:26 , Chiara Giordano

My colleague Sinead Butler over on our sister site Indy100 has put together a guide explaining everything you need to know about the UK’s energy and gas price crisis.

Take a look here:

Why is the UK facing an energy bills crisis and how will it affect ordinary people?

Downing Street insists support is available

Tuesday 21 September 2021 12:55 , Celine Wadhera

Following the business secretary’s warning that it could be a “very difficult winter” for those hit by benefit cuts, Downing street has insisted that support is available for some of the poorest households in the coming months through existing schemes.

A No 10 Spokesperson told reporters: “We already have schemes in place to help people out over the winter.

“We know there are people who obviously had a difficult time during the pandemic, which is why we want to build back better from the pandemic.”

The available support includes the warm home discount, winder fuel payments, cold weather payments and the maintenance of the energy price cap.

PA

Around 15 million households face £178 energy bill hike as price cap rise predicted

Tuesday 21 September 2021 13:14 , Celine Wadhera

Around 15 million households across Britain are expected to be hit with the £178 annual hike on their energy bills from April, analysts have said.

Experts at Cornwall Insight expect that the price cap will be hiked to £1466 for the average household. This would mark a 14 per cent increase on the already record-setting £1,277 that’s set to enter into force next Friday.

My colleague August Graham has the full story.

Around 15m households face £178 energy bill hike as price cap rise predicted

Kwarteng: Energy firms could be offered state-backed loans, but the government doesn’t want to be “throwing taxpayers’ money” at “badly run” companies

Tuesday 21 September 2021 13:33 , Celine Wadhera

Speaking on Sky News, Kwasi Kwarteng said that some of the UK’s biggest energy firms could be offered state-backed loans to take on customers from failed suppliers, to ensure “continuity of supply”. He insisted, however, that the government did not want to be throwing taxpayers’ money at poorly managed companies.

“It costs a company to absorb up to hundreds of thousands of customers from another company that’s failed, that costs money and there may well be a provision for some sort of loan and that’s been discussed,” Mr Kwarteng said.

“Every year between five and eight companies exit the market and I don’t want to prop up failing companies, I don’t want there to be a reward for failure”.

Cabinet minister hints at deal over carbon dioxide shortage

Tuesday 21 September 2021 13:44 , Chiara Giordano

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, has hinted that a deal could soon be reached with firms over a carbon dioxide shortage, but warned it may come at “some cost” to the taxpayer.

It comes amid alarm that consumers could start noticing shortages in poultry, pork and bakery products within days due to the closure of two UK sites that produce Co2 for British businesses.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the full story:

‘It may come at some cost’: Cabinet minister hints at deal over CO2 shortage

Government taking ‘direct steps’ to ensure carbon dioxide supply, says Boris Johnson

Tuesday 21 September 2021 14:02 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has said the government is taking “direct steps” to make sure carbon dioxide will be available for industries such as the food sector.

Speaking to the BBC during his trip to the United States, the prime minister said the spikes in gas prices which have led to the disruption of CO2 production “are being caused by the world economy waking up after quite a long period of cryogenic paralysis - it’s unfreezing everywhere and that is causing supply chain problems”.

“Obviously, we’re working with the companies to make sure that we can keep the supplies going,” he added.

“On the carbon dioxide issue that’s particularly important for some industries, we’re taking direct steps to make sure that that continues to be available.”

Energy crisis could affect next year’s crops, board warns

Tuesday 21 September 2021 14:15 , Chiara Giordano

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s head of environment and resource management has warned the crisis could affect next year’s crops.

Jon Foot said: “As energy prices spike to new highs, the price for natural gas has resulted in major producers of fertilisers closing down their facilities.

“The problems are unlikely to be resolved over the winter, as demand for energy in the winter months continues, and supplies of natural gas will remain restricted, and despite government ministers talking to the energy industry and producers of fertiliser, we should assume this crisis will feed into next year’s crop.

“This has impacted both the livestock sectors where a lack of carbon dioxide used to humanely stun the pigs before slaughter is in short supply and has caused the animals to back up on farm, and the closure of the fertiliser factories has caused the price of fertiliser to double in under a week.

“Many farmers have sufficient fertiliser in stock to establish their winter crops, but supplies are less certain for spring sown crops.”

Government strikes deal to restart CO2 production

Tuesday 21 September 2021 14:43 , Chiara Giordano

The government has struck a deal with fertiliser firm CF Industries to restart production at its UK sites in an effort to ensure availability of carbon dioxide for industries including the food sector.

News of the deal, reported by Sky News, followed talks between the company and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Follow our breaking news story for more updates:

Government strikes deal to restart CO2 production after gas prices surge

‘Christmas is on’: Boris Johnson denies people will struggle this winter

Tuesday 21 September 2021 15:08 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has said he does not accept that people will struggle this winter because of the rising cost of living and the hit to incomes from the end of furlough and the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit.

And the prime minister insisted that “Christmas is on”, amid concerns that a spike in Covid cases, rocketing energy prices, welfare cuts and disruption to supplies of food and toys could spoil the celebrations for a second year in succession.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details:

‘Christmas is on’: Boris Johnson denies people will struggle this winter

Government doing what it can to ensure supermarket shelves aren’t empty, says PM

Tuesday 21 September 2021 15:20 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson said the government was "talking to the energy companies, doing what we can to keep prices low" and making sure "that the supermarket shelves aren't empty".

He told the BBC "we have very, very good supply chains in the UK".

The prime minister suggested "the market across the world is going to start clearing these problems" in energy prices and "they will they will rectify themselves".

But he said it also demonstrated the need to invest in wind and nuclear power.

Boris Johnson defends Universal Credit cut as energy bills rise

Tuesday 21 September 2021 15:54 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has refused to back down over planned benefits cuts despite a cabinet minister warning hard-pressed families could face a "difficult winter" with rising energy bills.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the combination of rising gas prices and the looming £20 a week cut to Universal Credit was a "difficult situation" and he had spoken to cabinet colleagues including chancellor Rishi Sunak about the pressures facing households.

But the prime minister insisted the government’s approach was "the best way forward".

Asked if there would be a reversal of the decision to end the £20 uplift, he said: “We believe the best way forward further for the people of our country is a high-wage, high-skill economy with controlled immigration, rather than relying on the old approach which was low wages low skills, and uncontrolled immigration, that didn’t work, and people voted against that.”

No new details on deal with CF Industries over CO2 shortage

Tuesday 21 September 2021 16:20 , Celine Wadhera

No new details have been released on the deal with American fertiliser firm CF Industries over the ongoing CO2 shortage in Britain, Downing Street has said.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “The business secretary has been in discussions with CF Industries since the weekend on how we get their plants up and running as soon as possible to secure a continued supply of CO2 to UK businesses.”

Prior to halting production, the firm supplied around 60 per cent of the UK’s food-grade CO2, used to stun animals for slaughter, to package meats and salads, and to carbonate beer and other fizzy drinks.

Boris Johnson: ‘The supply chains are very secure’

Tuesday 21 September 2021 16:42 , Celine Wadhera

Speaking to Sky News political editor Beth Rigby in New York, Boris Johnson said that supply chains were “very secure” and dismissed the risk of a Christmas disruption.

“I’m very confident in our supply chains, I’m very confident that we’ll be able to keep energy suppliers going.”

He added: “The market is going to start fixing it … In the meantime, the government will do everything we can to help people, to fix it, to make sure that we smooth things over.”

When asked whether the energy crisis would last for months, the prime minister said: “The supply chains are very secure … I don’t think we’re going to have any problems on that scale.”

Government should loosen gas rules amid price spike, North Sea firm says

Tuesday 21 September 2021 17:06 , Celine Wadhera

A major gas producer in the North Sea has said that it could likely supply the country with large amounts of extra gas if the government were to ease restrictions on what is allowed to be used in the grid, amid a spike in prices.

Neptune Energy said that it could have produced an extra 10.7 billion cubic feet of gas if restrictions on calorific value – the measure of energy within gas – had been lowered.

If companies produce gas with too low or too high a calorific content, they are required to blend it with other gases to change its composition, before it can enter the grid.

But sometimes, there is not enough appropriate gas to blend with, which causes oil and gas companies to leave gas in the ground that otherwise could be extracted.

In a letter sent to the business secretary, the company’s executive chairman Sam Laidlaw said: “Enabling the proposed relaxation of the specification immediately under emergency powers would allow the use of gas at a lower calorific value, which has already undergone technical review by the Health and Safety Executive.

“This would enable producers to supply more gas because it would reduce the requirements for blending needed under the current regulations.

He said these changes could be put in place immediately, and last through to September 2022.

A number of European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary already use gas that is below the UK’s accepted range.

Both the National Grid and the Health and Safety Executive would have to sign off on this kind of proposal.

PA

Several small UK energy firms stop accepting new customers

Tuesday 21 September 2021 17:26 , Celine Wadhera

Several small UK energy suppliers have stopped accepting new customers, Bloomberg UK has reported.

According to their websites, Ampower, Green, Igloo, NEO Energy and Utilia are all closed to new business.

Igloo’s chief executive officer, Matt Clemow, said on the company’s website: “Like some of our competitors, we have decided to pause sales activity for now.

“With unprecedented wholesale prices, we have taken this decision to allow our teams to focus on the customers we already supply.”

A number of other energy suppliers went bust earlier this year, amid surging natural gas and power prices.

Christmas turkey could be off the menu if CO2 shortage persists

Tuesday 21 September 2021 17:46 , Celine Wadhera

Turkey could be off the menu for Christmas dinner if the carbon dioxide shortage persists, a leading turkey farmer told Reuters on Tuesday.

Paul Kelly, who supplies around 27 per cent of all turkeys sold at Christmas in the UK, said that the holiday season could be a “car crash” if production is not up and running soon.

“Carbon dioxide is used to extend shelf life, so when you put a turkey in a bag, you suck the air out and you blow carbon dioxide and that stops the bugs growing,” he said.

“We can’t create millions and millions of turkeys all in the week before Christmas, it has to be spread over a few weeks so if (CO2 production) really wasn’t back up and running, it would be another car crash.”

The shortage would similarly impact Christmas dinner alternatives, including beef and goose.

On Tuesday afternoon, Britain struck a deal with CF Industries to restart CO2 production at its UK-based plants in Cheshire and Teesside, but details on the deal remain scarce.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Corbyn: ‘The Tories are condemning millions to a winter of misery’

Tuesday 21 September 2021 18:06 , Celine Wadhera

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn shared his thoughts around the energy crisis on Twitter this afternoon.

He said: “With energy prices set to rocket – plus National Insurance hikes and the Universal Credit Cut on the way – the Tories are condemning millions to a winter of misery.”

Energy crisis highlights supply chain fragility in an increasingly volatile world

Tuesday 21 September 2021 18:26 , Celine Wadhera

The director of Chatham House’s environment and society programme said that the UK’s energy crisis highlights supply chain fragility in an increasingly volatile world.

Prof Benton said: “This crisis highlights the inter-relationships of sectors and just-in-time supply chain fragility in a world where the climate and the economic environment is becoming more volatile.

“This case study reinforces some of the “cascading risks” research work we have been doing: our highly connected, just-in-time economies are very fragile to disruptions of any kind: any additional pressure – from truck driver shortages to production problems, to Suez canal or port blockades, or trade wars or droughts or floods or new pests and diseases can quickly cascade across sectors and geographies.

“It is also a reminder of the volatility of UK and other national energy supplies under climate change and what might lay ahead.”

Government responds to proposal from North Sea energy firm around loosening gas rules

Tuesday 21 September 2021 18:46 , Celine Wadhera

The government has responded to a proposal from North Sea firm Neptune Energy around loosening restrictions on the energy content of gas that is permitted to be used in the grid, amid a global spike in gas prices.

“We have been clear that this is not a question of security of supply,” the government said. “We have sufficient capacity to meet demand, and do not expect gas supply emergencies to occur this winter.”

Neptune Energy had proposed the government relax its rules around the calorific content in the gas used in the grid, to allow oil and gas producers to supply greater quantities of gas.

PA

Ofgem may revoke licences of suppliers who are overdue on renewables energy scheme payments

Tuesday 21 September 2021 19:25 , Celine Wadhera

Ofgem may revoke suppliers’ licences who are overdue on their renewable energy scheme payments, the regulator said on Tuesday.

Five energy suppliers – Colorado Energy, Igloo Energy, Neon Reef Limited, Whoop Energy and Symbio Energy – have not yet paid the Feed In Tariff (FIT) which was due last Friday.

The regulator said that if the five firms do not comply, it could fine them or revoke their licences.

Igloo Energy has the most significant unpaid FIT payment of the group. Earlier on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the firm is no longer accepting new customers.

Delinquent energy suppliers owe Ofgem £765,000

Tuesday 21 September 2021 20:01 , Celine Wadhera

Five energy suppliers are overdue in paying the Feed In Tariff – a renewable energy fund ­– which was due to be paid last Friday. Between them, they owe Ofgem £765,000.

Many suppliers are currently struggling with surging global gas prices. Companies that provide their customers with fixed annual rates are now paying much higher market prices for gas and are unable to unload some of those costs onto their customers.

In years past, many companies have gone out of business in the autumn when the FIT and other payments are due.

Inability to pay into the FIT scheme has often been indicative of a company whose finances were under pressure.

Currently, Colorado Energy owes Ofgem £261,406; Igloo owes £316,582; Neon Reef owes £37,351; Symbio Energy owes £146,239 and Whoop owes £3,780.

PA

Lib Dem leader criticises government for action on energy crisis

Tuesday 21 September 2021 20:21 , Celine Wadhera

The leader of the Liberal Democrats said that the government failed to prepare people for the energy crisis.

Speaking on LBC, Sir Ed Davey said:

“We’re seeing crisis after crisis with this government, food prices going up, transport prices going up, heating bills, shortages of food, shortages of lorry drivers, it’s crisis upon crisis.

“What the government has failed to do on every time is prepare properly.

“If you look at energy policy in particular in the last six years its failed to prepare people for higher gas bills and heating bills, because its failed to insulate more peoples homes, its failed to diversify the energy system in the way that Liberal Democrats were doing.”

Ed Miliband: We are particularly exposed to energy crisis because of government decisions over the last decade

Tuesday 21 September 2021 20:41 , Celine Wadhera

Ed Miliband, the shadow business and energy secretary published a Twitter thread on Tuesday evening sharing his thoughts on the energy crisis.

“This is a global issue, but as a country we are particularly exposed because of government decisions over the last decade,” he said.

He claims that as a country, the UK has not moved far or fast enough on renewables to avoid “significant exposure to the volatile international suppliers of fossil fuels”.

The most shocking failure, he says, is around energy efficiency, pointing to the scrapping of the zero carbon homes standard, and the removal of the Green Homes Grand scheme.

“The long-term answer must be to move further and faster, using all the zero-carbon sources of power we can including renewables and nuclear and a proper energy efficiency retrofit programme.

“Some will say this crisis shows we should back off our climate commitments. The truth is the opposite: the best route to energy security is to press ahead with it. It’s the dither, delay and drift from government that has helped put us in the situation we find ourselves today.”

UK energy bills would soar by more than £550 without government intervention, industry experts say

Tuesday 21 September 2021 21:01 , Celine Wadhera

Household energy bills would need to rise by more than £550 per year if the price of gas remains at its current level without government intervention, industry experts have said.

The UK price cap, which limits the annual bill for gas and electricity, would need to rise to £1,834 if households were to fully cover the costs of buying energy supplies for the next year. This is £557 above the £1,277 rate set to enter into force next month.

The figure was calculated by consultants at EnAppSys for the Financial Times, and demonstrates the pressure the government is facing to offset costs from consumers as the energy crisis hits an already struggling workforce.

Thanks for tuning in

Tuesday 21 September 2021 21:02 , Celine Wadhera

That’s it for our daily coverage of the UK’s energy crisis. Have a great night, folks!

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