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Robin Hood Energy: Supplier of Islington Council's Angelic Energy could have licence revoked for failing to pay green subsidies

PUBLISHED: 07:56 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:08 04 October 2019

Islington Council has come under fire over its Angelic Energy project. Picture: Islington Council

Islington Council has come under fire over its Angelic Energy project. Picture: Islington Council

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The not-for-profit supplier behind Islington Council's Angelic Energy could have its licence revoked if it doesn't pay £9.4million in green subsidies by October 31.

Industry regulator Ofgem has ordered Nottingham Council's Robin Hood Energy, which supplies Angelic, to hand over cash it's already collected from among its 130,000 customers.

Ofgem has identified four suppliers that missed its September 1 deadline to pay the green taxes, with £14.7m due in total, of which Robin Hood owes £9,435,925.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green, Highbury East) said: "It is really worrying to hear the reports that Robin Hood Energy who supply the council's Angelic Energy Company [could have its licence revoked].

"I've written to the council to check what protection they have in place against the risk of financial loss [...] in the event that Robin Hood Energy should fail.

"I've also asked whether they are confident Angelic Energy will be able to continue to supply their customers and that people supplied by the council's energy company will not see a price hike to cover this."

A town hall spokesman told the Gazette Islington Council is watching the situation with interest but stressed Angelic Energy isn't liable for its suppliers debts.

They said if Ofgem goes bust Ofgem has robust procedures in place to protect Angelic Energy customers and it won't impact taxpayers.

Robin Hood Energy says it met Ofgem officials in September to discuss making this year's payments in instalments. It claims the regulator agreed a similar deal with rival energy firms last year.

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In an open letter, chief exec Gail Scholes said: "This [asking to pay in increments] was a prudent business decision to help us more effectively manage the high demand of the winter period, a potential general election as well as mitigating market risks around a 'no deal' Brexit."

Ms Scholes said she's "frustrated" the media is questioning Robin Hood Energy's "fundamental ability to operate a business" and says the firm is on track to make a surplus for this and next financial year.

Government policy dictates power suppliers must show they've sourced a certain amount of green energy, by presenting renewable obligation certificates (ROCs) to Ofgem by September 1.

If suppliers don't have enough ROCs they must make up the difference by August 31.

Robin Hood Energy failed to pay back the shortfall between the August 31 and September 1 deadline - and it must pay the full amount plus interest by the end of the month, or risk losing its licence.

Ofgem's executive director of consumers and markets Mary Starks said: "The renewables obligation schemes provide important support to renewable electricity generators and play an important role in Great Britain's journey to a net zero emission economy by 2050.

"Supplier failure to comply with the schemes undermines the integrity of the schemes and is unacceptable.

"It also adds to the costs of other suppliers who do meet their obligations as they have to absorb or make up any shortfall.

"This enforcement action sends a strong signal that suppliers must meet their obligations, or pay the consequences which could mean losing their licence."

Robin Hood says its brought 100 per cent renewable energy since July 2018.

Islington Council has been approached for comment.

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