London-based energy company Bulb Energy, which is on the brink of collapse due to high energy prices, has been nationalized. To prevent the 1.7 million British households that are customers from running out of power, the state is temporarily taking over the company.

A special administrator will be appointed for this, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Johnson announced. According to media in the United Kingdom, this is an unprecedented rescue operation; the legislation for this temporary nationalization was put in place in 2011 and has never been used before.

Bulb Energy is the 21st energy company to go bankrupt in the UK since August. It is also the largest company to suffer from the strong price increase in the energy sector in recent months, among other things. A total of 3.7 million British households have now gone bankrupt.

‘No worries’

Despite discussions with other energy companies, a takeover of Bulb Energy was not successful. Other parties fear that they will run into problems themselves if they take over another 1.7 million customers. Despite this, customers need not worry, emphasizes a Bulb Energy spokesperson. Gas, electricity and water will be supplied at the expense of the state in the near future.

The problems in the British energy market appear to be worse than those in the Netherlands. At least three energy companies have gone bankrupt here in the same time frame.

Maximum price and Brexit

One of the reasons for this difference is that there is a maximum tariff for energy in the United Kingdom. As a result, the companies cannot fully pass on the strong price increase to customers. In addition, many smaller energy suppliers have lured customers with low rates and therefore lost a lot of money on fixed contracts when the purchase price of energy rose sharply.

Furthermore, Brexit, maintenance of a gas platform in the North Sea and a fire at an important pipeline also contribute to the malaise in the British energy market.

After a period in which international gas prices stabilized, they shot up again last week. The largest energy supplier in the Netherlands expects an average price increase of 17.50 euros per month next year.

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