The UK energy regulator Ofgem has stripped URE Energy of its electricity licence, prompting speculation that it will soon cease trading.
Ofgem said that URE Energy has failed to meet its Renewable Obligation by not paying into the fund when it didn’t source enough renewable energy. The small energy supplier was said to be in debt of £209,000 to the fund, which was set up the energy regulator in order to boost green energy.
URE Energy was one of a number of suppliers who missed the payment deadline in August 2018. Economy Energy and Spark Energy were two other suppliers who missed that deadline, and they have both gone into administration since then.
This latest news comes just days after another small supplier, Solarplicity, went out of business. The collapse of that firm has left around 7,500 domestic customers and 500 business customers waiting on Ofgem to find them a new supplier. It became the 14th energy supplier in the UK to go bust since 2016.
GB Energy ceased trading in November 2016, followed by Future Energy, National Gas and Power, Iresa, Gen4u, Usio Energy, Extra Energy, Spark Energy, OneSelect, Economy Energy, Our Power, Brilliant Energy, Cardiff Energy Supply and Solarplicity. The collapse of all these firms has affected over a million customers.
“As in any market, suppliers may, of course, fail,” said a spokesperson for Ofgem. “We have extremely robust procedures in place to make sure energy supplies are always secure and customers’ credit balances are protected.”
A spokesperson for trade association Energy UK said: “The increase in competition and the number of suppliers in recent years has been great for customers in providing more choice and driving down prices.
“However, it remains a challenging environment for suppliers of all sizes and we have seen a number of suppliers exit the market in recent years because of unsustainable business models and often poor performance with their customer service. Customers should remain confident in the market and the potential savings available on switching tariff or energy supplier.”