Council “stuck between rock and hard place” as Together Energy chief admits “impossible” to survive if prices remain high

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FORMER Warrington Borough Council leader Ian Marks says the council is “stuck between a rock and a hard place” over its controversial investment in Together Energy.

The Chief Executive of the company, Paul Richards, admitted in a Channel 4 News interview that it would be “impossible”  to survive if wholesale prices remain at the current rate and the cap stays in place. So far around twenty-five companies have collapsed including the seventh-largest one, Bulb.

Together Energy must also find £12.4m to pay its renewable energy obligations. The money should have been paid by the end of October but it must be now paid to the regulator, Ofgem, by January 27.

In an interview with Channel 4 News Mr Richards said if the wholesale prices remain the same and the energy cap stays the same, it would be “impossible” to survive. But he added that if the company could become one of twelve to survive, it would become a “very lucrative business.”

They are currently looking for new investors.

Cllr Marks, the Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson and a former leader of the council, who also featured on the Channel 4 programme says, “We have always opposed the Council’s investment in Together Energy because we thought it too risky despite its worthy objectives of helping the Council’s climate change objectives, combatting fuel poverty and creating jobs for less advantaged people.

“The recent turmoil in the market just confirms we were right. However, the decision has to be made as to what to do right now. We support the Council working hard with the company to try and ensure its survival. It is in no-one’s interests for the Council to bail out with immediate effect. However unlikely, there maybe someone out there who is prepared to invest in Together Energy on the grounds that if it survives, it could become a lucrative business due to there being a much-reduced number of players in the market.

“If the company cannot pay off its debt to Ofgem and no other source of finance can be found, then the Council has the extraordinary difficult choice of investing more money or letting it collapse. This is not an enviable decision and they are truly caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Together energy

Click here to see full interview

Council backed Together Energy given until end of January to pay £12.4m Renewables Obligations

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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