Gas and Electricity Markets Authority v GB Energy Supply Ltd

Practice – Insolvency. The Chancery Division granted the claimant Gas and Electricity Markets Authority a declaration that the defendant gas and electricity supplier was unable to pay its debts, within the meaning of the Insolvency Act 1986, and, that, therefore, the authority was entitled to revoke the defendant's electricity supply and gas supply licences and appoint another energy supplier as a supplier of last resort. The claimant had argued that the defendant was insolvent and that the circumstances were sufficiently urgent such that waiting for the requisite 14 days, under s 161(3)(b) of the Energy Act 2004, to elapse would cause significant difficulties for consumers and small energy supply companies. The court, in granting the declaration, held that the application involved an approach which was lawfully open to the authority and that the declaration would be granted where, on the facts, the defendant was clearly insolvent and there was a risk to the commercial energy market and to consumers if it were not granted.

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