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Yorkshire Energy becomes latest supplier to close as market remains challenging for small players

Yorkshire Energy has around 74,000 domestic gas and electricity customers.

Yorkshire Energy has around 74,000 domestic gas and electricity customers.

Yorkshire Energy has ceased to trade, becoming the latest small supplier casualty of 2020.

The company has around 74,000 domestic gas and electricity customers that will now be appointed a new supplier by regulator Ofgem.

“After 2 and a half years in operation we sadly have begun proceedings to cease trading. We have operated since day one with the simple values of transparency and honesty, paying our renewable obligations on time and having customer service that we are proud of,” wrote Annie Faulder, CEO of Yorkshire Energy, in a statement.

“We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to our customers and colleagues for their loyal support over the years. Continue to expect great service, push for green energy and do your part to get the UK to net zero.”

A number of small suppliers have gone bust in 2020, with GnERGY the first to cease trading in March. This was followed by Effortless Energy in September – the first to close during the COVID-19 pandemic – and Tonik Energy in November.

Other small suppliers have also struggled, with Bristol City Council-owned Bristol Energy selling its customer base to Together Energy in September with the council stating that success with the supplier was “impossible in such a volatile market”.

Similarly, Centrica bought the customers of Nottingham City Council-owned Robin Hood Energy after a particularly tough year for the company that saw it posting a £23.1 million loss in its April 2018 to March 2019 results.

At the end of October, Ofgem issued final orders to Nabuh Energy Limited, Robin Hood Energy Limited and Symbio Energy Limited after they collectively failed to pay £15 million Renewable Obligation (RO) and feed-in tariff payments. The RO has repeatedly been cited as a challenge for small suppliers, with a large number of those issued with final orders shuttering not long after historically.

However, despite these closures and challenges fewer small suppliers have gone bust in 2020 than in the preceding year, which saw a total of 14 retailers close. They have potentially been aided by the government’s furlough scheme, along with low energy prices due to soaring renewables and low demand due to the lockdown earlier in the year.

Ofgem has advised Yorkshire Energy customers not to switch suppliers, but instead to take a meter reading and wait for the new supplier that is appointed to them to make contact.

Philippa Pickford, director of Retail at Ofgem, reassured: “Yorkshire Energy customers do not need to worry, as under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies are secure and domestic customers’ credit balances are protected.”

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