The partial collapse of energy provider Bulb follows the collapse of 22 other energy suppliers who have ceased trading during the gas crisis. Soaring natural gas prices, combined with the UK’s energy price cap, have sent 22 energy firms to bust this year, leaving millions of customers facing disruption and prices that are far higher than their previous deals.
Bulb, which supplies around 1.7 million customers, is the largest company by far to face difficulties in the UK energy crisis.
With this many energy suppliers and retailers going bust, something needs to change. Is this the way we generate electricity? The way we consume energy in homes and businesses? How do we support our transition to a smart energy system with stability through renewable and efficiencies?
Why are energy suppliers going bust?
As with any market, the cost of a commodity can go up and down. Typically, at this time of year, energy costs do rise, with an increase in demand, heating and people switching on the lights earlier. However, this year also coincides with the economy opening back up from pandemic lows, so demand is even higher.
A perfect storm of other macro-economic complications to hit the energy sector: such as supply shortages from Russia and high demand in Asia, has led to all-time highs for natural gas.
Higher gas prices also push up wholesale electricity prices, as over a third of the UK’s electricity is generated by burning natural gas.
Accelerating our transition to renewable – is this our wake-up call?
The current energy crisis could be used as a platform to accelerate our transition to more renewable forms of energy backed by smart energy technology.
High gas prices, along with a lack of supply and storage, have shown us that the retail decentralised energy market focuses on supplying energy up to the meter. There is little focus to integrate efficient, low carbon or energy supply with self-generation — utilising how we use our energy from a behind-the-meter perspective. That is what carbonTRACK does best.
The current energy market is built around a historic centralised energy system and means of generation, with the ‘energy system’ ending at the customer’s meter. Driving smart energy change requires a focus on energy efficiency, renewable generation, and technology to assist us in driving this change in people’s homes and businesses.
At carbonTRACK, we have already proved we have the technology and solutions to solve the challenges faced in integrating renewable generation, with demand on a flexible basis — but we are going a step further and proving this with collaboration at Energy Systems Catapult and Living Labs trial.
Energy Systems Catapult is supporting carbonTRACK to test its flexibility platform in homes with solar PV, battery storage and an electric vehicle alongside a smart meter and more regular appliances such as a gas boiler, fridge, dishwasher, washing machine etc. In particular, Energy Systems Catapult will help carbonTRACK to:
- Better understand energy demand profiles, including electric and gas data;
- Test the control of both clean technologies and regular appliances in homes; and
- Better understand how UK energy consumers interact with carbonTRACK’s solution.
In the short term, the energy crisis will provide a shock to the energy sector, families and businesses feeling the cost of higher energy prices and picking up the bill for failed energy suppliers.
The long term, however, proves that carbonTRACK can help and be part of the solution, creating a more flexible energy system that integrates renewable generation, reduce peaks in demand and better match demand with supply with dynamic time-of-use tariffs.
If you are interested in becoming energy independent, book your demo with carbonTRACK today.
to know how to become energy independent,
reduce your carbon footprint and save money!