Failing suppliers: How renewable power has been penalised

So far this year, 14 electricity suppliers have had the plug pulled by Ofgem, affecting hundreds of thousands of homes and customers. With winter on the way the expectation is that more will follow suit as temperatures plummet, demand soars and increased costs start to bite.

One unexpected victim of so many suppliers crashing out has been renewable generators. Suppliers are responsible for paying them a key subsidy known as the Feed in Tariff. This is paid four times a year, so for small or community generations schemes, not only is the subsidy a critical element of the balance sheet, but missing a quarterly payment can be disastrous.

When the supplier goes bust, Ofgem steps in as overall regulator and ensures that all renewable generators can continue claiming their Feed in Tariff from a new supplier, so it would appear everything is fine.

Not quite.

As one of our clients learned earlier this year, not all renewable generators are protected by Ofgem. In August this year, Solarplicity went bust, but they had been struggling to pay their bills since 2018. Not unreasonably, our client decided not to stick around with a supplier who didn’t pay their bills and switched to a bigger supplier in March, confident that Ofgem would keep them right. It was not to be.

Following discussions with Ofgem we learned their policy was only to make good renewable generators who had been signed up with Solarplicity at the time they went bust. Switch even a day before and Ofgem’s policy was not to allow that generator to recover any unpaid sums.

We put a detailed case to Ofgem explaining how they could use the existing regulations to help clients in the same position as our own, and also why this would be a beneficial change to make.

To our client’s delight, Ofgem have now confirmed they are changing their policy as a result of our submissions, and will enable all renewable generators in our client’s position to make a full recovery. As a consequence all recipients of the Feed in Tariff who may have moved away from one of the fourteen suppliers this year before they went bust should contact their new suppliers about recovering any lost sums.

Renewable Energy

Our lawyers assist clients with onshore wind projects, hydro and solar energy, and biomass, providing advice and insight into insider knowledge and practical know-how.

Latest updates from @MacRoberts

  • Our award-winning Family Law team can help you and your partner through difficult situations by providing support w… https://t.co/sOwEmv13fP 27/07/2021
  • To celebrate the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we're delighted to launch our latest sporting challenge in support of our… https://t.co/Y8IEq3eT53 23/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for a Real Estate Planning Solicitor to join the MacRoberts tea… https://t.co/ioGQaF2hQc 23/07/2021
  • The countdown is on! With just 100 days to go, we’re looking forward to #COP26 in Glasgow! ♻️ As a firm accredite… https://t.co/Ooldhmo8tW 22/07/2021
  • Has lockdown led you to consider a move to the countryside? From discussing a possible purchase to obtaining the… https://t.co/patbF42pjk 22/07/2021
  • Have you seen our latest vacancies? 💼 We currently have opportunities in various departments across the firm. Fin… https://t.co/NpiWs2sphg 21/07/2021
  • Acas has published new guidance for employers with helpful information on #flexibleworking & #hybridworking. With t… https://t.co/SoX87hFkko 20/07/2021
  • Busting the myth that a career in law is only for the privileged few: @marikaflawyer is speaking at this morning’s… https://t.co/awfcub4cw0 19/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for a Support Services Assistant to join our team in Edinburgh.… https://t.co/DJ27fRmmdb 16/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is pleased to have been part of the team advising @HV_Systems in its £5m capital boost from Beehive Equi… https://t.co/BxcwjCgIVk 15/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for a NQ Solicitor to join our Conveyancing & Private Client te… https://t.co/zubGY4zo0D 14/07/2021
  • For the last of our IGTV mini-series, we hear from Katie MacLeod. She will be giving an insight into what it’s like… https://t.co/0v2nNQ9zzZ 14/07/2021
  • RT @marikaflawyer: Exciting opportunity for Associate in our award winning Family Law team #familylaw #LegalCareer https://t.co/z3WEtfFJUo 14/07/2021
  • MacRoberts is recruiting! We are currently looking for an Associate to join our Family Law team in Edinburgh or Gl… https://t.co/CaitiMeVBs 14/07/2021
  • Last week, the UK Government took the decision to relax the rules on the length of time lorry drivers can work as a… https://t.co/o559McerYg 13/07/2021