A SOUTHAMPTON energy supplier has ceased trading in the face of the crisis in the industry.

Igloo Energy – which supplied gas and electricity to around 179,000 households – said the market was “no longer sustainable” for the company.

The firm – based in Mountbatten House, Grosvenor Square – employed 68 people as of last year.

Under Ofgem’s safety net, the energy supply to all affected customers will continue and credit balances will be protected.

Domestic customers will also be protected by the energy price cap when being switched to a new supplier.

Its heat pump business, Igloo Works, will continue to trade.

Two other energy suppliers, Symbio and Enstroga, have also stopped trading, the regulator Ofgem announced.

Founded in Southampton in 2017, Igloo had risen to the top of customer service rankings.

In a statement on the firm’s website, co-founders Matt Clemow and Henry Brown said: “We founded Igloo with the aim to sell as little energy as possible to our customers. We did that because we think it’s the right thing to do, energy isn’t just about price it’s also about how much is used and the hassle involved in making changes to reduce its consumption. Less energy is good for your pocket and for the planet.”

They said the wholesale price of energy in the UK had risen fivefold in recent months and that the firm’s core business of energy retail “operates in a market that is sadly no longer sustainable for Igloo”.

“The energy price cap which was introduced by government has been an important tool for ensuring that consumers are not unfairly penalised on standard variable rate tariffs. While we continue to support the price cap mechanism, the basis on which it’s calculated by Ofgem is designed to favour the largest suppliers and any calls to review this by the challenger brands, like Igloo, continues to be resisted,” they said.

“The current extreme price shock that we’re experiencing is one that few, if anyone, anticipated.”

They added: “It is with great regret that we need to therefore inform you that Igloo Energy Supply Limited is ceasing to trade, and your energy supply will now be transferred to a new supplier. You need not worry; your supply is secure and funds that you’ve have paid into you accounts will be protected if you are in credit.”

They added: “Our heat pump business, Igloo Works, will be continuing to trade and is unaffected by this news. For those customers who have installations booked we’ll be in touch shortly. For all our energy customers, we’re still planning on doing everything we can to help people use less energy. The climate issue isn’t going away.”

Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said: “I want to reassure customers of Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy that they do not need to worry. Under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue.

“If you have credit on your Enstroga, Igloo Energy or Symbio Energy account the funds you have paid in are protected and you will not lose the money that is owed to you.

“Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your tariff.”