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Europe, News

UK regulator says energy suppliers Entice, Orbit ceasing to trade

(Updates sourcing, detail)

Nov 25 (Reuters) – Small British energy suppliers Entice Energy and Orbit Energy are ceasing to trade, the regulator Ofgem said on Thursday in a statement, becoming the latest casualties of soaring wholesale energy costs.

Many British energy companies, often supplying both gas and electricity to homes and businesses, have struggled in the face of record high wholesale prices, because the regulator’s price caps limit how much of the increases can be passed onto customers.

Ofgem said new suppliers would be found for Entice Energy’s 5,400 customers and Orbit Energy Limited’s 65,000 domestic customers.

Customers may have to pay more if they were on fixed-price plans with rates cheaper than the regulator’s price cap.

Analysts have said the difference between what companies can charge a customer under the cap and the current cost of supplying them with energy from the wholesale markets is around 400 pounds ($538) over a year.

More than 20 small suppliers with more than 2 million customers combined have gone bust since September when wholesale energy prices surged.

Bulb, with around 1.6 million customers, was placed in special administration on Monday.

(Reporting by Nora Buli in Oslo and Susanna Twidale in London; Editing by Edmund Blair and Lisa Shumaker)

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