Gas price crisis proves market needs urgent shake-up, says renewable energy firm boss

September 20, 2021

The chief executive of Wiltshire green utility business Good Energy, one of the UK’s oldest 100% renewable power suppliers, today called for major reforms to the crisis-hit energy market as consumers face soaring bills and food shortages and rival firms teeter on the edge of insolvency.

Nigel Pocklington, pictured, of Chippenham-headquartered Good Energy said the “risky approach” taken by so many new entrants to the energy market had taken through pricing below cost was now coming home to roost. 

“Unfortunately the impacts will be felt by both customers and the more prudent suppliers in the market,” he said.

The climate emergency had already made the transition to renewable sources urgent, he added.

“What’s happening now shows it’s also urgent in order to protect customers today. We need to get away from our reliance on volatile fossil fuel markets as fast as possible, and switch to a system with a backbone of wind and solar,” he said.

Good Energy generates and supplies 100% renewable power, owning two wind farms and six solar farms, and sources electricity from a community of more than 1,900 independent UK generators. 

Pocklington’s comments came as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held crisis talks with the bosses of the major energy groups amid fears of that a 31% rise in wholesale gas prices will hit the food industry as well as sending bills soaring for consumers. 

Mr Kwarteng, pictured, was said to be considering offering emergency State-backed loans to some businesses in the energy sector as they struggle to cope with the surge in wholesale prices triggered by higher demand for gas and reduced supplies. 

While the government’s energy price cap is protecting consumers it means energy suppliers are unable to pass on higher wholesale costs to their customers.

A number have already gone bust over recent weeks and Bulb, the sixth largest, is understood to be seeking a bailout.

Industry sources fear the fall-out will result in the 70 suppliers in the market at the moment falling to as few as 10 by the end of the year. 

Last week Good Energy, which is battling a hostile takeover bid by Gloucestershire-based rival Ecotricity, reported a half-year pre-tax profit of £4.8m against a £1.1m loss in the same period last year on revenues up from £67.5m to £68.4m. 

Mr Kwarteng is due to make a statement to MPs this afternoon about the gas price crisis.

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