Goto Energy has become the latest UK supplier of gas and electricity to collapse in the face of a surge in wholesale gas prices.
The Kent-based company, which supplies about 22,000 customers, said on Monday it had ceased trading, citing “‘meteoric’ rises in wholesale energy prices driven by a global shortage of natural gas”.
Goto, which offered consumers “green, renewable” electricity and “responsibly sourced” gas, is the 13th UK energy supplier to fail since the start of August.
It said its customers’ energy supplies would continue and that they would be found new providers under regulator Ofgem’s supplier of last resort process. Funds already paid into accounts will be protected under Ofgem’s safety net.
“In recent weeks there has been an unprecedented increase in global gas prices which is putting financial pressure on suppliers,” the regulator said on Monday. “Ofgem is working closely with government and industry to make sure customers continue to be protected this winter.”
Goto’s failure had been anticipated. It was among five companies cited by Ofgem for failing to meet its renewable obligations and not providing assurance that it would be in a position to pay into a scheme that supports small renewable-energy projects.
In its statement on Monday Goto said it had “always taken its responsibilities to its customers very seriously. We’ve consistently sought to afford all customers that have chosen our products, the service levels and respect they deserve.”
Goto’s collapse comes less than a week after those of BP-backed Pure Planet, Colorado Energy, a specialist energy provider that targeted renters, and Daligas, which supplied gas to about 9,000 domestic and non-domestic customers.
Shell Energy has been appointed to take on the three suppliers’ roughly 252,000 domestic and 600 non-domestic customers after a competitive process run by Ofgem to get the best deal possible for customers.
Business and energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng has warned that other companies are at risk of collapsing but dismissed calls to support struggling energy suppliers.
Ofgem’s £1,277 annual price cap means energy providers are being forced to charge customers less than the companies are paying to supply them.
Larger suppliers say they are finding it increasingly difficult to bear the costs of taking on new lossmaking customers whose existing providers have failed. While dozens of suppliers are still trading, industry insiders and observers warn that the current crisis could leave as few as eight in business.