Three energy suppliers face losing licences over £15m unpaid green taxes

30th October 2020 | Commercial Energy

Industry regulator Ofgem said Nabuh Energy, Robin Hood Energy and Symbio Energy are unlikely to pay up by a final deadline on October 31. The energy regulator has issued three final orders for £15 million in unpaid fees for renewable energy programmes and warned it could strip the offending suppliers of their licences if they do not pay up. Ofgem said Renewables Obligation (RO) fees are owed by Nabuh Energy, Robin Hood Energy and Symbio Energy, with all three unable to provide adequate assurances that they will make the payments by a final deadline on October 31.

And original deadline at the end of September was breached by seven suppliers owing a combined £33.86 million, saying Ofgem saying Co-Operative Energy and Flow Energy have now given green assurances, MA Energy has paid up in full, and Tonik Energy went bust. The regulator said, “If suppliers fail to make the payments, Ofgem could take further enforcement action which could include revoking a supplier’ licence.”

Green taxes

Robin Hood Energy owes the most under the RO, which is a green tax charged to customers and subsequently supposed to be handed to Ofgem, with £12 million outstanding. The company had been hailed as a new kind of supplier, operating as a not-for-profit enterprise, but the huge costs in launching an energy firm quickly overwhelmed the council-backed business. It went bust last month with auditors Grant Thornton calculating that Nottingham City Council invested £43 million into the company and risked £16.5 million in guarantees. British Gas took on the firm’s customers following the collapse.

In a report, Grant Thornton accused the council of “institutional blindness” with a determination that the company “should be a success”, despite missing payment deadlines and racking up losses. The Government’s RO schemes require supplies to show they have sourced enough electricity from renewable sources to meet their own specific obligation.

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