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RO shortfall sits at £33m with ten suppliers owing payments having gone under

Image: Robin Hood.

Image: Robin Hood.

Ten energy suppliers that failed to meet the late payment deadline for Renewable Obligations (RO) have now either gone bust or had their licence revoked.

This is according to Ofgem, which today (10 December) released the latest figures for the RO. These show that the total shortfall across all RO schemes stands at £33,135,933.32, excluding interest, resulting in mutualisation being trigged in late November.

This process, which has been triggered three years in a row, means that the shortfall is redistributed among suppliers who have made their payments in the form of quarterly payments.

There were 13 suppliers with remaining obligations past the late payment deadline of 31 October, however Ofgem is unable to pursue enforcement action against ten as they ceased trading before the obligations became due. The ten are: Breeze Energy, Effortless Energy - whose customers have since been taken on by Octopus - Electraphase Energy, Eversmart Energy, Gnergy, Rutherford Energy, Snowdrop Energy, Solarplicity, Tonik Energy and Toto Energy.

Ofgem is therefore looking to recover outstanding payments through the organisations’ Administrators where appropriate.

The three supplier that failed to meet the 31 October deadline but are still in operation were Nabuh Energy, Robin Hood – with Centrica having acquires its customer base in September – and Symbio Energy, with 24 obligations split between the full 13 suppliers that were not met in full.

On 28 October, Ofgem issued a final order to Nabuh, Robin Hood and Symbio to compel the suppliers to make their outstanding payment plus interest by 31 October 2020. Symbio made its payment shortly after the late payment deadline, with Ofgem proposing to revoke the Final Order against Symbio on 13 November.

The RO payments have become a major factor in small energy companies going bust in recent years. In October 2019, Ofgem issued four final orders to companies for missing the payment deadline, including Gnergy, Toto Energy and Robin Hood Energy.

However, fewer suppliers have gone bust this year when compared with 2019, which saw 14 cease trading.

A number of suppliers also failed to meet the earlier 1 September deadline this year, with thirty-three supplier groups across 54 obligations missing the deadline.

These include Bristol Energy - whose customers were sold onto Together Energy, which is another on the list to miss the 1 September deadline - Co-operative Energy, npower and Pure Planet among others.

As a result, the 2019-20 RO late payment fund was redistributed on 4 December, with a total of £72,879,688 paid to suppliers who presented Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) this year.

Suppliers received £5.02 per ROC presented after the redistribution of the buy-out fund, which suppliers pay into by the 31 August each year if they don’t have enough ROCs to meet their obligation. They have now received an extra £0.63 per ROC from the redistribution of the late payment fund, meaning that the final recycle value for 2019-20 is £5.65.

Current± has contacted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - who Ofgem administers the RO scheme on behalf of - for comment.

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