A leading energy supplier has warned that rising wholesale power prices and a highly competitive retail market could force one or more of the new independents out of business this winter.
Co-op Energy boss, Ramsey Dunning, said that some larger companies are deliberately setting below-cost tariffs in a move to win market share - but with potentially dangerous consequences.
The collapse of one of the new breed of independent suppliers could undermine customer confidence and discourage switching away from the big six suppliers, energy experts believe.
“There are 50 odd independent companies now but there is likely to be less than that by the end of the year. This winter is going to be difficult for some,” said the Co-op Energy chief executive.
“There are undoubtedly products around which are loss leaders and are going to lose money for suppliers which is storing problems up for the future,” he added.
Dunning issued his warning during a round table debate to launch the Clean Energy Live exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday.