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Business News

State-backed loans being considered for energy firms that take customers from companies that go bust


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Some of the UK’s biggest energy companies could be offered state-backed loans in return for taking on customers from smaller suppliers if they go under, as soaring global gas prices throw the industry into crisis, the business secretary has told Sky News.

Speaking to Kay Burley, Kwasi Kwarteng also said that the carbon dioxide shortage that has affected some food and drink production could be solved by the end of the week.

Questioned about the energy crisis, Mr Kwarteng said there are “lots of options” at the disposal of ministers.

“It costs a company to absorb up to hundreds of thousands of customers from another company that’s failed, that costs money, and there may well be a provision for some sort of loan and that’s been discussed,” he said.

But the business secretary stressed he did not want to be “throwing taxpayers’ money” at companies which have been “badly run”.

“Every year between five and eight companies exit the market and I don’t want to prop up failing companies, I don’t want there to be a reward for failure,” he added.

Mr Kwarteng insisted it was a “myth” that the UK supply of gas could run out and stressed “security of supply is not an issue”.

More on Energy

He acknowledged some people may already struggle to heat their homes because of the cost of their energy bills, but said it would not be down to a lack of supply.

Turning to the issues with CO2 production, the business secretary sounded a confident note.

He said a resolution to the issues experienced was “pretty imminent” and added: “I’m very confident and hopeful that we can sort it out by the end of the week.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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