BP-Backed Energy Supplier Pure Planet Nears Collapse: Sky
Pure Planet may become the latest U.K. energy supplier to fold as a result of the surging prices and supply shortages rocking the natural gas market, Sky News reported.
The BP Plc-backed company has begun talks with the country’s regulator, Ofgem, about adding its customers to the supplier-of-last-resort process, under which the regulator appoints a new provider among stronger energy companies, the TV channel reported, without saying how it obtained the information. Pure Planet has fewer than 125,000 customers, Sky said.
“Our number one priority is protecting customers,” a spokesman for Ofgem said by email, without confirming any talks with Pure Planet. “In the event a supplier fails, Ofgem has robust systems in place and our safety net ensures customers’ electricity and gas supply continue and protects their credit balances.”
Ten companies have failed since the start of August, according to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who has warned that more suppliers are likely to collapse as a result of the recent volatility in gas markets. The government is trying to stave off a surge in energy costs as the jump in gas prices feeds through to consumer bills.
BP, which owns 24% of Pure Planet and provides it with gas, has decided to discontinue supplying the company, according to Sky. The fate of the renewable-energy supplier, which is 24%-owned by BP, may be announced this week, although a final decision hasn’t been taken, Sky said. A spokesperson for BP declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News and Pure Planet didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Energy regulator Ofgem said last week it will start a fund to provide emergency credit for customers who can’t pay their bills after wholesale prices hit record highs.
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