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Together Energy becomes the latest supplier in the UK to waste

The electricity company with the help of a town council in northern England has become the 27th largest supplier in the UK to collapse in six months due to a shortage of items that have made gas prices cheaper.

Together Energy Retail, which is backed by Warrington City Council and provided about 176,000 domestic customers, stopped trading Tuesday, British governor Ofgem said in a statement.

As is the case with other failed retailers, Together Customers are protected by Ofgem’s security policy, which transfers customers to another provider through the sale. The safety net should ensure that electricity continues to flow and that customer accounts are protected, the regulator said.

The fall will only exacerbate pressure on the UK government as it seeks new ways to find retailers left in the country. It also raises questions about why the Labor organization has invested in a losing company.

Taxpayers in the northern town of Warrington may meet a cutting edge up to £ 52m. The council bought and 50 percent Together, established in 2016 at Clydebank, Scotland, for £ 18m in September 2019.

It later arranged a £ 20m Together loan and provided a £ 14m guarantee to Orsted, the company’s energy supplier.

Warrington council executive Steven Broomhead became director of Together Energy in 2019 © John Hopkins / Alamy.

Steven Broomhead, Chief executive of Warrington council, became director of Together in October 2019. In 2020, the company acquired domestic customers and another high-profile subsidiary, Bristol Energy, established by Bristol City Council in 2015.

Warrington Council said it had invested together to create local services and provide “100% green energy” to customers, adding that it was “deeply frustrated”.

“We know that Together Energy’s operating system was stable and our turnaround is very strong, but higher inflation means it is now one of the many companies that have left the market,” it added.

Although Together was slow to make a £ 12.4m plus interest rate thanks to Ofgem, the company has expressed optimism about its expectations later this month.

In early January, information on the Together page, which has been removed, said customer accounts “are safe with us”. “There is no need to worry and we are doing as much business as ever,” he said.

Several local councils have invested in electricity companies over the past decade, hoping to give citizens better opportunities than the “Big Six” power companies that were once competitive in the electricity market.

However, council-assisted electricity suppliers have often struggled to make a profit. Nottingham City Council has been forced to apologize for losing millions in public funds when Robin Hood Energy, which sold them in 2015, cracked down five years later.

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In 2019, when Warrington council made its finances, Together they lost £ 11.4m and had more than £ 19m in debt.

In the company’s accounts for the past financial year ending August 2018, investigators warned that there was a “certain uncertainty” that cast doubt on the ability of Together to continue operating unless it has secured additional funding.

Conservative councilors in Warrington were quick to criticize the council’s involvement.

“Today’s announcement is a clear indication of the lack of Labor expertise, resilience and oversight from the very beginning of the financial crisis that has created a high level of risk,” said Councilor Mark Jervis. “It is the taxpayers in Warrington who will bring economic hardship.”

Additional reports by Jim Pickard in London

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