In the News

How regulatory failure has costs UK households money

Graham Watson

27th July 2022

The Guardian covers the collapse of Avro Energy - and the lack of regulation of the energy company, given the volume of complaints made by consumers.

It's a rather stark tale - and the family involved in owning it seem to have done very nicely from the company. Avro Energy owed customers £90m when it collapsed in September 2021. An administrator's report on Avro Energy revealed that it had no sources of external funding and lacked any hedging instruments in respect of its energy purchases.

"During the same period, Avro, based in Hinckley in Leicestershire, lent £700,000 to its owner-directors, the same father-and-son team. It also lent another £830,000 to Berkeley Swiss Ltd owned by them.”

Nils Pratley unpicks in this comment piece the regulatory failure involved in the collapse of so many firms in the energy sector, and whether, as a result, the existing regulator, OFGEM, can be trusted to reform the sector.

For example, there's been no obvious attempt to weigh up alternatives to the existing price cap, such as a social tariff that some people have mooted.

Related to this, the Business Select Committee of MPs are of the view that the cost of living crisis is not going to abate in the near future, with energy bills yet to rise further than expected in the Autumn and the most vulnerable remain exposed to yet another price rise.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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