Lights switched off at energy company

Luke Watson, from Preesall,  outside the GB Energy premises on Garstang Road, Broughton
Luke Watson, from Preesall, outside the GB Energy premises on Garstang Road, Broughton
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A Wyre businessman has blamed rapid rises in energy prices as his company ceased trading.

More than 160,000 customers have been left without an energy supplier since GB Energy Supply shut its doors.

Managing Director Luke Watson, who hails from Preesall, said customers’ supplies should continue a view which has been backed by regulator Ofgem.

The company had been building new offices at Broughton, near Preston, for the six members of staff and it had been planning to grow the business. Construction work has now ended on that site.

Mr Watson said in a message on the firm’s website: “It is with regret that we are informing you that GB Energy Supply is no longer trading and therefore you will be unable to access our website at this time.

“Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to allow us to access the best possible wholesale prices....the position of the business has become untenable.

“As such we will now be entering a process overseen by Ofgem to move you to a new supplier.

“Customers will be contacted soon by their new supplier with more information on how this process will affect them.”

The company specialised in reducing energy usage for domestic, commercial and public sector clients.

Launched with a pledge to shake up the market with fairer pricing, GB Energy said earlier this year it had more than 135,000 customers throughout Great Britain.

Mr Watson said at the time: “The reason we’re able to offer exactly the same energy for a much cheaper price is because we keep our business model lean, unlike many other players in the market.

“We don’t waste money on expensive marketing campaigns, sponsorships or by paying money to price comparison sites that don’t always give people a true view of market; we prefer to pass savings onto our customers, helping them to save money.”​

Experts said today that smaller energy suppliers cannot buy in advance to cover sudden price rises like larger companies do and expected more to struggle this year.

Rachel Fletcher from Ofgem said: “If you are a customer of GB Energy Supply there is no need to worry as we will ensure your energy supplies are safe.”