The boss of Solarplicity has claimed Ofgem’s decision to block its supply arm from taking on any new customers undermined a rescue plan for the business and contributed towards its demise.
Taking aim at the regulator following the announcement that Solarplicity Supply will cease trading today (13 August), the company’s chief executive David Elbourne said the provisional order issued in February “ended an earlier refinancing plan at a late stage”.
The order banned the supplier from taking on new customers for up to three months until it resolved customer service issues.
Elbourne said: “Ofgem’s recent and unnecessary public statements about the group’s finances have caused a second initiative to sell the supply business to collapse.
“As a result of this failure to release fresh funding, the directors have unfortunately been left with no alternative than to place Solarplicity Supply Limited into administration.
“When first engaging with Ofgem on the matter, Solarplicity warned the regulator of the negative effect that these overly onerous interventions would have on the business.
“Now that these have come to reality, the unfortunate impact on jobs, customers and suppliers is unavoidable.
“Solarplicity believes it is hugely unfortunate that these stakeholders will bear the brunt of Ofgem’s decision.”
Solarplicity was hit with a second provisional order in May after the supplier failed to pay several feed-in tariff (FIT) generators.
The chief executive also said that the company’s experience since its acquisition of the retailer LoCO2 in May 2017 has convinced the board that there is “no viable future” as a small-scale supplier in the “overcrowded and highly regulated market”.
Elbourne added: “Despite the grievances listed, Solarplicity has committed to continue to work closely with Ofgem in the coming days to see this subsidiary into Ofgem’s proven supplier of last resort (SoLR) process to make sure that its customers’ needs are protected throughout.
“The management team is refocussing the group’s activities on what it has always done best – the provision of renewable technology to cut the cost of energy for local authority and housing association tenants.
“We will update stakeholders about our exciting future plans in the coming days once the SoLR process is completed.”
Ofgem declined to comment on the claims.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that several winding up orders had been issued by HMRC against Solarplicity’s businesses.
On 6 August Ofgem confirmed a provisional order against Solarplicity Supply after the company failed to make a number of feed-in tariff (FIT) payments.
A day later Utility Week revealed that Solarplicity was “exiting the utilities services business” after a number of its companies went into administration.