UK state rescues energy company with 1.7 million customers

London-based energy company Bulb Energy, which is about to fall over due to high energy prices, has been nationalized. To prevent the 1.7 million UK households that are customers from running out of power, the state is temporarily taking over the company.

A special administrator is appointed for this purpose, a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Johnson announced. According to media in the United Kingdom, it is an unprecedented rescue operation; the legislation for this temporary nationalization was put in place in 2011 and never used before.

Bulb Energy is the 21st energy company that has gone bankrupt in the United Kingdom since August. It is also the largest company that is undergoing, among other things, the sharp price increase in the energy sector over the past few months. A total of 3.7 million British households has now gone to the bottle.

No worry

Despite conversations with other energy groups, an acquisition of Bulb Energy did not succeed. Other parties fear getting into trouble themselves if they take over 1.7 million customers. Despite this, customers dont have to worry, a spokesperson for Bulb Energy emphasizes. At the expense of the state, gas, electricity and water will be supplied in the coming period.

The problems in the British energy market seem worse than those in the Netherlands. At least three energy companies have gone bankrupt here in the same time frame.

Maximum price and Brexit

One of the causes of that difference is that there is a maximum rate for energy in the United Kingdom. As a result, the companies cannot fully pass on the sharp price increase to customers. In addition, many smaller energy suppliers lured customers with low rates and therefore lost a lot of money on fixed contracts when the purchase price of energy increased sharply.

Furthermore, Brexit, maintenance of a gas platform in the North Sea and a fire in the event of an important pipeline also participate in the malaise in the British energy market.

After a period when international gas prices stabilized, it skyrocketed again last week. The largest energy supplier in the Netherlands expects an average price increase of 17.50 euros per month next year.