Good Energy has today rallied shareholders to resist Ecotricity’s calls for board representation after it set a date for its showdown general meeting.
Last month Ecotricity formally sought to place founder Dale Vince and Electric Highway director Simon Crowfoot on Good’s board, citing concerns over corporate governance at the rival that Ecotricity owns 25% of.
Vince has questioned payments made by Good Energy to solar developer Shire Oak Energy, established by Juliet Davenport’s husband Mark Shorrock, stemming from 2013.
Good also financially supported Tidal Lagoon Power Limited, the developer attached to the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon projected which has sought government backing, also founded by Shorrock.
Good has now arranged for a general meeting to take place on 6 September and has this morning issued a note to shareholders imploring them to vote unanimously against the proposals, arguing that Ecotricity is attempting to “undermine” the company.
The note goes on to discuss Ecotricity’s motivation in seeking board representation, with Good insisting that its practices are sound and that all related party transactions – a key motivation behind Ecotricity’s proposed seats on the board – are transparent.
It also includes several side-swipes at Ecotricity. Good Energy has stated that neither Dale Vince nor Simon Crowfoot would meet the criteria set out by Good Energy for directorships as they lack public company board experience, while questioning Ecotricity’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure business.
“Good Energy and Ecotricity have a different approach to the transition taking place in the UK energy market. In particular we will not be investing in a similar business model to Ecotricity on electric vehicle charging network which, by its own admission, is loss making,” Good has said.
In August last year, Crowfoot admitted to Clean Energy News that Ecotricity was losing "hundreds of thousands of pounds a year" from the Electric Highway, adding that the company funded the network from other sources within its business "because it's the right thing to do" to increase electric vehicle take-up.
Company chairman John Maltby signs off the note to Good's shareholders by stating it is his firm belief that the current board is “well equipped” to implement its new strategy and create “significant value” for shareholders.
“Ecotricity has a corporate purpose and business model that are in direct competition with our own and a corporate governance structure that is not accountable to external shareholders. There is no guarantee that any representative of Ecotricity could ever put the interests of other Good Energy shareholders above their own and those of Ecotricity, which has Dale Vince as its sole recorded shareholder (or a company which is 100% owned by Dale Vince).
“Neither can Dale Vince provide any guarantee that his ambitions would not destabilise your Board and its ability to act in a unified way on key matters of commercial and strategic importance to the continuing success of Good Energy,” Maltby adds.