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Harsh UK Energy Regs Claims 13th Victim

UK renewable energy supplier Solarplicity says it is ceasing to trade, blaming the harsh regulations in the energy market and increased competition, and becoming the 13th energy supplier in the UK to have gone out of business since the beginning of 2018.

“Solarplicity Supply Limited is ceasing to trade and Ofgem, the energy regulator, will appoint a new supplier to look after its customers,” the company said in advice to customers posted on its website.

“The large number of small energy suppliers and the harsh way the market is regulated make it difficult for companies like Solarplicity to survive. Ofgem’s recent actions stopped it from raising the funding it needed, unfortunately leaving it no option but to cease trading,” the company said, adding that the rest of the Solarplicity Group is not affected and would continue to provide renewable technology.

Solarplicity’s CEO David Elbourne said in a statement, as carried by Stock-on-Trent Live:

“Its experience since the acquisition of the retail energy supply business LoCO2 in May 2017, has convinced the Solarplicity Board there is no viable future as a small-scale energy supplier in today’s overcrowded, highly regulated market – which, as others are finding-out, is simply not sustainable at this scale.”

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The collapse of the 13th small energy supplier in Britain since the start of last year comes amid a row with the regulator Ofgem, which has chastised Solarplicity several times this year alone. Earlier this month, the regulator called out Solarplicity for failing to make the feed-in-tariff (FIT) payments to FIT generators, and told the company it was required to provide reports to the authority showing that those payments have been made.

In February this year, Ofgem temporarily banned Solarplicity from taking on new customers for three months due to poor customer service and switching process. The authority threatened to revoke Solarplicity’s license to operate on the energy market unless it improved its service.

In the wake of Solarplicity’s collapse, Ofgem said that it would protect the company’s around 7,500 domestic customers and less than 500 business customers and urged them not to rush to switch to another energy supplier until the authority chooses a new one.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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