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The energy supplier market

Since the summer of 2021, around 30 suppliers of gas and electricity have exited the market, affecting around four million customers. These exits from the market have been partly caused by increases in the wholesale price of gas and a high level of volatility in the market. Most customers have been transferred to alternative suppliers through the Supplier of Last Resort process managed by Ofgem, the energy regulator. However, Bulb Energy, which was too large to be absorbed by an existing provider, has been placed into special administration and is being run by an administrator.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is the department with responsibility for setting and developing energy policy, and Ofgem is the regulator for the gas and electricity markets in Great Britain.

This study will explore:

  • the issues that have led to the exit of suppliers from the energy market;
  • the costs and wider impacts for customers and taxpayers of suppliers exiting the market;
  • how BEIS and Ofgem have handled the supplier failures; and
  • the lessons that government needs to learn for the future of the energy supplier market.