UK energy crisis: Sixth largest electricity provider Bulb could go bust – demands funding

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Bulb, a UK based energy company who supplies electricity and gas to more than 1.5 million customers, has demanded funding to help stay afloat amid surging gas prices. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said issues facing the UK energy industry and problems with supply chains have arisen due to “the global economy coming back to life”.

Crisis talks will be held later today with the energy industry and its regulator Ofgem, hosted by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, to address fears for struggling suppliers and rising fuel bills.

On Twitter, Javier Blas, Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg News, addressed the news surrounding Bulb’s plea for funding branding the crisis as “really, really serious”.

He said: “The UK energy crisis is getting really, really serious and very, very quickly: Bulb is the 6th largest British electricity and natural gas retailer, with more than 1.5 million customers.”

A Bulb spokesperson told “From time to time we explore various opportunities to fund our business plans and further our mission to lower bills and lower CO2.

“Like everyone in the industry, we’re monitoring wholesale prices and their impact on our business.”

It comes as wholesale gas costs have risen 250 percent since January, which has resulted in four small energy companies having already folded due to the surge.

The rise in gas prices has been blamed on high global demand, maintenance issues and lower solar and wind energy output, according to Kwasi Kwarteng.

On Sunday, following a meeting with Ofgem, the Business Secretary said that “well-rehearsed plans” were in place to ensure consumers were not cut off in the event of further failures.

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Amid fears that further energy firms will go bust, Mr Kwarteng may face pressure from the big suppliers for government support packages to aid them during the crisis.

According to The Financial Times, the industry reportedly wants to see the creation of a so-called “bad bank” to absorb unprofitable customers from firms that fail amid the price hike.

Boris Johnson warns that Britain’s supply chain problems could last for months, and concerns have been raised on whether some people will be unable to afford the cost of heating their homes over winter.

The Prime Minister spoke on board his flight to the US for the United Nations General Assembly and he did not rule out shortages running into the autumn and winter months.

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Mr Johnson blamed the problems in supply chains on “the global economy coming back to life”, and added, “the guy ropes are coming off Gulliver and it’s standing up, and it’s going to take a while, as it were, for the circulation to adjust”.

The PM said that supply chain problems aren’t just impacting the UK, but are affecting “the entire world”.

He was questioned whether these shortages could last for months, to which the prime minister responded: “It could be faster than that, it could be much faster, but there are problems as you know with shipping, with containers, with staff – there are all sorts of problems.”

Elsewhere, as a result of the energy crisis, retailers and food producers have warned that supplies of food, turkey and chicken are dwindling.

CO2 is a crucial element for the food processing industry as it’s used for packaging meat products and culling animals.

However, food producer Bernard Matthews warned Christmas dinner could be “cancelled” as a sharp rise in gas prices has seen the closure of two large fertiliser plants – in Teesside and Cheshire – which produce CO2 as a by-product.

Mr Johnson said on Sunday that he wanted to “give general reassurance that the problems we are seeing are temporary” amid growing concerns.

The Prime Minister said that problems will be “addressed”, and expressed his confidence in the UK’s supply chains.

He said: “I have no doubt that supply issues will be readily addressed. We’re very confident in our supply chains.

“But in the meantime we will work with all the gas companies to do whatever we can to keep people’s supplies coming, to make sure they don’t go out of business. And to make sure we get through this current difficult period.”

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