1.5m customers hit by gas firms shutting up shop

Martin Lewis discusses how to claim money from energy companies

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The rocketing wholesale costs are also having a knock-on effect on meat production, with industry sources warning shoppers face higher food bills. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed suggestions that it would lead to panic buying in supermarkets. He said: “We’ve got very good supply chains, as I’ve been saying over the last few days, and what we’re seeing is the growing pains of a global economy recovering rapidly from Covid.”

The Government has agreed to potentially pay tens of millions of pounds to subsidise a major US-owned manufacturer to keep supplies flowing to the food sector.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said the final details were still being worked on but “it’s going to be into many millions”.

He added: “The truth is, if we did not act, then by the early part of next week, some of the poultry processing plants would need to close, and then we would have animal welfare issues because you would have lots of chickens that would have to be euthanised on farms. We would have a similar situation with pigs.”

Meanwhile Avro Energy and Green Supplier Limited became the latest gas firms to collapse. PFP, MoneyPlus, Utility Point, People’s Energy and HUB Energy have already closed.

Wholesale prices for gas are up 250 percent since January, including a 70 percent increase since August.

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said the price rise is something not seen before at this pace.

He added that it was “very hard” to put a figure on how many customers will be left in limbo by energy firms going bust.

Households can keep using gas and electricity while the regulator tries to find them a new supplier. But companies may be reluctant to take on hundreds of thousands of new customers because they will have to buy more energy at eye-watering prices.

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