More electricity companies went bust in 2019 than during any other year on record, according to new figures.

Across the year, 24 companies involved in the supply of electricity went bust, the highest on record.

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The data, which comes from a freedom of information request from accountants Price Bailey, shows a 41% increase from 2018, when 17 companies in the sector shut their doors.

Only five closed in 2017, the data shows.

Many energy suppliers have exited the cut-throat market in recent years as they failed to stay above water with razor-thin margins.

The biggest collapses included Economy Energy, Extra Energy, Spark Energy and Toto Energy.

Wholesale costs rose to a peak in 2018, the energy price cap has eaten into profits, and companies are forced to pay an annual renewable power fee if they do not source enough of their energy from green sources.

Paul Pittman, a partner at Price Bailey, said: “There has been a lot of focus on the retail end of the supply chain but whenever an energy retailer goes bust there is a knock-on effect down the supply chain.

“The number of retail energy suppliers going bust is just the tip of the iceberg. Businesses engaged in the trade of electricity, which are creditors to retail energy suppliers, are going to the wall in record numbers.

“We are seeing a domino effect. Every time a small energy retailer goes bust, that increases the financial strain on the rest of the supply chain, making those businesses more vulnerable to collapse.”

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