Energy regulator Ofgem has announced it is proposing to issue URE Energy with a final order following the company’s non-payment of its Renewables Obligation (RO).
Last year it was revealed the supplier had failed to meet its RO by not paying into either the buy-out fund by 1 September 2018 or the late payment fund by 31 October.
URE, along with Manchester-based Eversmart Energy, was placed under investigation and ordered to deliver all outstanding RO payments by 31 March 2019 through monthly instalments.
URE owes the regulator £209,013.87 including interest by the end of March.
Ofgem says that since being issued with the notice, URE has failed to make any of its payments.
If URE Energy fails to comply with a final order, once issued, the regulator can use its powers to take further enforcement action against the company.
Last week Utility Week revealed around 300 customers of defaulting energy providers have effectively slipped through Ofgem’s safety net after the supplier of last resort (SoLR) process was not invoked.
Industry sources told Utility Week they had identified the “supplier-less” customers of companies which ceased trading but for whom the SoLR process was never invoked due to arrangements being made by the original supplier and the regulator.
URE was among three suppliers understood to be involved.
Under the government’s RO schemes, suppliers who do not source the required proportion of electricity from renewable sources have to pay into a buy-out fund administered by Ofgem.
An “unprecedented” 34 suppliers failed to meet their full obligations by the 1 September deadline last year, which resulted in a combined shortfall of £102.9 million in the England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland buy-out funds (up from £18.7 million in 2017). This works out as an average of £3.02 million per supplier.
In November, the regulator announced a mutualisation process would be triggered for the first time ever after the outstanding payments following the final deadline exceeded a threshold known as the relevant shortfall.
The level of the shortfall was confirmed at £58.6 million.
A number of suppliers named as owing RO payments beyond the 31 October late payment deadline have ceased trading.