More than 350 jobs at risk as ethical Scottish energy company Together Energy goes bankrupt

MORE THAN 350 jobs are at risk as a partly state-owned Scottish energy company has become the latest energy supplier to collapse.

Together Energy, based in Clydebank, which prides itself on employing more than 90% of its staff in the most deprived areas of Scotland, is now the first victim of the energy sector in 2022.

In a statement posted on its website, Together Energy said the “sustained increase in wholesale prices and the securities needed to continue to buy energy forward” made the company’s situation “unsustainable”.

Energy regulator Ofgem said a new supplier would be found for the company’s customers and energy supplies would continue.

Together Energy would employ around 360 people, mostly from some of Scotland’s most deprived areas, along with 15 staff in Warrington and other staff in Bristol. He had planned last year to recruit another 80 customer service positions, both at Clydebank and Warrington, funded by the Kickstart scheme.

It was feared the five-year-old energy supplier 50 per cent owned by Warrington Borough Council, with 170,000 customers, was facing collapse as an ultimate search for new funding drew to a close.

Bulb, the latest energy supplier seeking a bailout deal, collapsed in November, leaving 1.7 million customers facing higher bills.

Together Energy describes itself as “Scotland’s most socially responsible recruiter”, saying that “our commitment and support to people from the most vulnerable backgrounds is unparalleled and we continue to work and support staff in the most vulnerable postcodes. poorer”.

It says it actively recruits from poverty-stricken areas identified in the Scottish Multiple Deprivation Index.

He told his customers: “We regret to inform you that the business will cease operations with immediate effect. We would like to sincerely thank you for your patronage over the past five years.

“Despite the press reports, we have purchased enough gas and electricity for your needs, but the continued increase in wholesale prices and the guarantees needed to continue to buy energy in the future have made it difficult for us to impossible to continue.

“On behalf of all staff who have ever worked with the company, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your custom. Without your custom, we could not have met our recruitment policy; we recruited 90% of our staff among the 10% poorest postcodes in the UK.

“Your custom has created job opportunities and college places for people who lacked the confidence or aspiration. We will all be eternally grateful that you chose us to heat your home, and we are sorry to not being able to keep doing it.”

The business recorded a loss of nearly £4m in the year to October 2020 after a loss of £11.4m the previous year.

A financial filing in July said the council believed it had “adequate resources to continue operations for at least 12 months…”

At that time, Together acquired Bristol Energy’s residential customer base for £14 million. By adding 144,239 accounts, the deal effectively doubled the size of the company.

The company’s website had reassured customers as speculation was rife about its future that their “accounts are safe with us”.

Ofgem said Together Energy customers would be contacted by a new company once it was selected.

Households were advised to wait for the appointment of a new supplier before considering switching companies.

Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said “the regulator’s number one priority is to protect customers”.

“I want to reassure affected customers that they need not worry, as part of our safety net, we will ensure that your energy supplies continue.”

Together Energy, which has 350,000 accounts, insisted in November that it was “looking to find long-term, strategic funding for growth, not short-term.” [capital]”.

Warrington Borough Council initially invested £18million in Together Energy in September 2019, arguing the partnership was “an important part of the council’s work to tackle the climate emergency, tackle energy poverty and create new employment opportunities for the local population”.

Last year the local authority said the supplier’s organic growth model predicted the business would have 850,000 customer accounts within three years.

The company says that 100% of its electricity comes from renewable sources and that it is “working to offset 100% of our carbon dioxide by August 2023”.

In March Warrington Borough Council leader Russ Bowden said the growth figures were “really encouraging”.

At that time, the company said it saw a 284% increase in customer accounts over the past two years, from 97,000 in 2019 to 280,000.

HeraldScotland:

Citizens Advice Scotland Fair Markets spokeswoman Kate Morrison said it was ‘more bad news for beleaguered consumers’

“Together Energy will be the twenty-seventh company to exit the market since last August, and comes as a record price cap hike is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. One in three of us are already finding bills unaffordable and c is before huge increases in bills accompanied by runaway inflation.”

Andy Carter, Tory MP for Warrington South, slammed the council which he said ‘simply shouldn’t have made this investment decision’.

“Having highlighted this risky investment several times in Parliament over the past two years, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened,” he said.

“The Labor line will be to blame everyone but it is clear that this decision was made by Labor advisers and they must be held accountable for the losses that will inevitably follow.”

Mr Carter said he had met with ministers and would try to ‘recoup as much as possible of the £52million of public money invested in this business’.

Energy bills are feared to rise by up to 50% in the spring as the UK faces a ‘national crisis’ linked to soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices, production of renewable energy having plummeted, helped by the lowest Scottish wind speeds this century.

Almost three weeks ago, trade body Energy UK called on the UK government to intervene to help bring down the cost of bills when the price cap could easily exceed £2,000 a year.

Good Energy and EDF have added their weight to calls for the government to intervene urgently after the cost of gas in wholesale markets rose by more than 500% in less than a year.

The UK’s price cap on energy bills, which prevents businesses from immediately passing on rising costs to their customers, is set to change on April 1 when industry regulator Ofgem is expected to raise the cap significantly.

As wholesale energy prices continue to soar, price caps on UK energy bills prevent companies from immediately passing these costs on to their customers.

Since October 1, the price cap, set by the sector regulator, Ofgem, has been set at a record high of £1,277.

In Scotland, around 1.5 million Scottish households saw their energy bills soar to £139 in October after the latest price cap hike.

Tashema Jackson, energy expert at energyhelpline.com, said: “Together Energy has become the 26th energy supplier to fail since the energy crisis began last summer.

“Unlike some of those who have already gone bankrupt, Together Energy was considered a well-run operation and this news is going to come as a shock to its 176,000 customers.

“If your home is powered by Together Energy, don’t worry, your lights won’t go out and any credit you have in your account will be protected.

“Be sure to take a meter reading when your new provider is announced, to ensure the transition goes smoothly.”

Suppliers that have ceased operations since August 2021.

Together Energy Retail Ltd

Zog Energy Limited

attract energy

Orbit Energy Limited

Neon Reef Limited

SA Social Energy Provider

CNG Energy Limited

Omni Energy Limited

MA Energy Limited

Zebra Power Limited

Ampoweruk Ltd

Bluegreen Energy Services Limited

GO TO Energy

Daligas

pure planet

Colorado Energy

ENSTROGA

Energy Igloo

Symbio Energy

Avro Energy

Green Supplier Limited (“Green”.)

popular energy

utility stitch

PFP Energy

MoneyPlus Energy

energy center

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