UK's Ofgem orders five energy suppliers to pay up or risk licence

·1-min read

LONDON (Reuters) -Five small British energy suppliers must make payments to regulator Ofgem for its renewable scheme or face losing their licences, Ofgem said on Tuesday.

The orders come during a crisis for Britain's energy suppliers, with record wholesale energy prices already forcing some small supplier to go bust and leading larger suppliers to call on the government for help.

The suppliers, Colorado Energy, Igloo Energy Supply Limited, Neon Reef Limited, Whoop Energy Limited and Symbio Energy owe 765,000 pounds in total for a government scheme to help pay for renewables, the regulator said in a statement.

"If the suppliers fail to comply with the order made against them, Ofgem may take further enforcement action and they could end up having their licences revoked or facing a financial penalty," Ofgem said.

Four suppliers have already gone bust this month, with around 40 energy suppliers currently in the market compared with a peak of 70 in 2018.

Many smaller suppliers, with less capital available to hedge their customers needs, have struggled to keep pace with rapid wholesale energy prices, with benchmark British gas contracts rising around 200% this year.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale in London, Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Louise Heavens)

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