Council-backed energy provider, Together, ceases trading

An energy company half owned by Warrington Borough Council has ceased trading.

Together Energy, based in Clydebank, Glasgow, has 176,000 customers.

Warrington Borough Council invested £18m in Together Energy in September 2019, for a 50% stake in the business. It has since loaned the business a further £20m.

Earlier this month Sky News reported the energy provider was seeking financial assistance after being hit by soaring wholesale energy prices and unable to raise its costs due to the Government’s energy price cap.

Professional services firm, Alvarez & Martin, was reported to have been trying to secure new funding for Together, and a spokeswoman said it was “still in active conversations”.

However, a notice on Together Energy’s website today said: “We regret to inform you that the company will cease trading with immediate effect. We want to thank you sincerely for your custom over the past 5 years.

“Despite press reports, we did buy enough gas and electricity for your needs, but the sustained increase in wholesale prices and the securities required to continue to forward purchase the energy, have meant that it is untenable for us to continue.”

Together customers will now be placed with alternative suppliers by energy watchdog Ofgem.

A statement from Warrington Borough Council said: “We’re very disappointed that Together Energy will be ceasing to trade due to the current energy crisis, which has already resulted in the closure of several energy companies.

“Our vision was to be part of a company that tackles the climate emergency by delivering 100% green energy to customers, contributes to reducing fuel poverty and provides local jobs in Warrington – particularly for those out of work or without formal qualifications – but the current market conditions are sadly not sustainable.”

It adds: “We know that Together Energy’s operating model was resilient and our approach to hedging (buying long term supplies at low prices) extremely robust, but the enormous and sustained wholesale price rises mean that it is now one of many companies that has had to leave the market.

“We know this will be a difficult time for Together Energy customers and staff. We also know that Together Energy’s closure will have an impact on our residents. While it is our absolute priority to minimise any and all exposures we have as a council, we must first, as a priority, ensure that the independent administration process completes in a timely manner, and that Together Energy’s customers are seamlessly transferred to another provider.”

Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said: “I want to reassure affected customers that they do not need to worry, under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue.

“Ofgem will choose a new supplier for you and while we are doing this our advice is to wait until we appoint a new supplier and do not switch in the meantime. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your tariff.”

Together Energy is the 27th energy supplier to have ceased trading since last August.