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Winter likely to finish off some energy firms, analysts say

Image copyright Getty Images More small energy suppliers are likely to go bust this winter, analysts say, leading to potential disruption and higher costs for customers. Economy Energy was the latest to collapse earlier this month, following customer complaints about service including delayed bills and refunds. It followed a string of similar collapses and analysts say five or 10 more could go as winter costs rise. If so, domestic customers’ supply is protected but their tariff is not. When an energy company ceases trading its customers are automatically transferred to…

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Energy firm ceases trading after ban

Energy supplier Economy Energy, which was recently banned from taking on new customers, has collapsed. The supply to its 235,000 domestic customers will continue, any credit they have will be protected, and a new supplier will take on their accounts. Regulator Ofgem said a new supplier would be appointed as soon as possible. On Friday, it had ordered the company to improve customer service. Economy Energy is the latest of a host of small suppliers to fold. Troubles Customers had spoken of problems with disputed account balances, the firm’s failure…

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Economy Energy banned from taking on new customers

Image copyright Getty Images Energy supplier Economy Energy has been banned from taking on new customers until it improves its customer service. The energy regulator, Ofgem, said the ban would remain in place for three months to allow the firm to improve its customer contact procedures. It must also address billing and payment failures, and issue customer refunds in a timely manner. Ofgem said if the company – which has 244,000 customers – failed to improve it could have its licence revoked. Energy price cap comes into force In addition…

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Science 

Climate change: LED lights could dent UK energy demand

Image copyright Science Photo Library Installing a single low-energy LED bulb may make a trivial contribution to cutting the carbon emissions that are over-heating the planet. But if millions choose LEDs, then with a twist of the collective wrist, their efforts will have made a significant dent in the UK’s energy demand. Studies show trying to make products more efficient has cut CO2 emissions more than renewable energy has. The difference is that glamorous renewables grab the headlines. The “Cinderella” field of energy efficiency, however, is often ignored or derided.…

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Energy price cap comes into force

Image copyright Getty Images A new energy price cap has now come into force – but householders can still get a better deal by shopping around, consumer groups say. Regulator Ofgem has estimated that the new cap will save 11 million people an average of £76 a year. Typically, the cap means that typical usage by a dual fuel customer paying by direct debit will cost no more than £1,137 a year. Consumer organisations say that people could save more by switching suppliers. “The introduction of this cap will put…

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Centrica in legal challenge to energy price cap

Image copyright Centrica British Gas owner Centrica is to mount a legal challenge against Britain’s upcoming energy price cap, arguing it has not been calculated fairly. The energy provider said it would apply for a judicial review against the regulator Ofgem, saying it had set the threshold too high. The firm said it wanted not to delay the cap, due to come in on 1 January, but to change how it is set. The regulator said it would defend its proposals “robustly”. Ofgem proposed a cap on energy bills in…

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Energy plans may cut £45 a year from bills

Image copyright Getty Images Energy regulator Ofgem wants to produce a “smarter, fairer and cleaner” energy system that, added to reforms proposed last month, could cut consumers’ bills by £45 a year from 2021. Its plans for revising the energy system would help customers benefit from new technology such as electric vehicles and renewables. Ofgem also wants to ensure people pay a fair share for network services. The plans would, however, lead to lower returns for investors. Ofgem wants to set the returns to 4% – about 50% lower than…

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Not enough evidence for energy drink ban

Image copyright Science Photo Library Experts advising the government have said there is not enough scientific evidence to warrant a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children. But the Science and Technology Committee said concerns in society, and evidence from teachers, could “justify a ban.” The MPs recommended more prominent labels, saying the drinks were not suitable for children. Critics said they were disappointed not to see a recommendation for a ban. A number of big supermarkets already ban their sale to under-16s due to concerns over the…

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Spark Energy Supply ceases trading

Image copyright Spark Energy An energy supply company with almost 300,000 customers has ceased trading. Spark Energy Supply is part of a gas and electricity firm which employs more than 300 staff at its Selkirk headquarters. The move comes after the company was handed a £14m bill by the energy regulator Ofgem for non-payment of its renewable power obligation. Another smaller supplier, Extra Energy, collapsed earlier this week for the same reason. Ofgem said the energy supply for Spark’s 290,000 customers would continue as normal. It advised customers to take…

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Technology 

Google invests $700 million in Danish data center, secures green energy

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Google will invest almost $700 million in a Danish data center powered by the abundant green energy that underpins power- FILE PHOTO: The brand logo of Alphabet Inc’s Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter intensive companies’ interest in the Nordic region. Google also said it would sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the new Danish data center to ensure it is powered by renewable energy. The Nordic countries, which can generate electricity relatively cheaply from renewable sources such…

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