LONDON, Sept 23 Reuters - Britain has not been complacent about the vulnerability of its wholesale energy market which is seeing some suppliers fail in the wake of increasing wholesale gas prices, business and energy minister said on Thursday.
We haven't been complacent, the whole point about the supplier of last resort process, which was interrogated last year, is that it's an organised process, well established that can allow existing strong companies to absorb customers in failure, Kwasi Kwarteng told legislators.
The solution to the crisis came from industry and the markets, he said. The government will not bail out the failed energy companies, he said.
Two energy suppliers stopped trading on Wednesday, leaving more than 800,000 customers potentially facing higher bills, and the government has said that more will follow.
Kwarteng, however, said that supplier failures were a common feature of the market and policies were in place to protect consumers when firms collapsed.
He said that large companies, which take on customers of failed firms as the last resort supplier, would not be given subsidy.
I could categorically say to this house: we will not be giving any grants or subsidies to larger firms, said he.