AGENDA WEST NEWS: businesses face thousands of pounds in a hike in energy costs while Bulb Energy are bailed out by the tax payer with a loan of £1.7 billion

Bulb Energy

Every household in the UK is set to see a hike this year of £700 on average with many in badly insulated rented properties certain to pay a lot more. The costs have been loaded onto the populace due to increases in demand for gas and oil worldwide, as well as expanding and demanding markets in China and elsewhere around the world.

It comes on top of a rise in inflation with levels not seen in a generation with some products going up higher than the current 5% or so – with more hikes in interest rates to come as the Bank of England tries to dampen inflation.

During the lockdown at the height of the pandemic firms were offered furlough cash,  Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) , rural business grants and Bounce Back Loans. This time around with the Covid-19 virus still affecting the population there is no financial help – unless of course you are a troubled energy provider like Bulb Energy.

The company went into ‘special administration’ last year because it claimed it couldn’t withstand the increases in wholesale gas and power prices. More than 20 other suppliers crashed last autumn but when Bulb flickered and looked to go out they were saved as they were the seventh largest supplier with one and half million customers. Small fry were left to collapse by Ofgem but Bulb owed £254 million to its customers and a whole lot more to its suppliers.

Teneo were put in charge of finding a buyer but as rival energy firms went through Bulb’s books they all shied away from a take-over. The search for a buyer or a solution goes on while Bulb’s customers await to see who they will be switched to by Ofgem the energy regulator – whoever it is their bills will rocket. They include many in business who must be wondering when the crisis in the economy will end.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said firms need to look at costs this year and downsize if necessary, as the country’s economy looks set to return to a period not seen since the 1970s. “I’ve seen several down turns and recessions and my tip is not to plan too far ahead if you are thinking of expansion as your fixed costs will change. That is because we don’t know how much more energy prices will rise, including diesel at the pump, and we don’t know if inflation will rise to double digits. Keep things tight. The Government is not going to be forking out billions to the average business that’s for sure.”

However the Government’s plans to help customers through the current crisis with a £200 rebate later this year from a household’s energy bill – although it is repayable over five years – so more like a loan. Once again said Ian Carrotte it is the average small and medium business that is picking up the tab for much larger failed concerns.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk