Last month, Bristol City Council finalised the sale of the business customer section of Bristol Energy, to Yu Energy. Last week came the news that, in a deal worth £14m,Together Energy had acquired their residential branch, taking on their brand and system, alongside approximately 155,000 residential meter points.
Cllr Craig Cheney, deputy mayor and Bristol City Council cabinet member for finance, governance and performance has expressed his confidence and delight in having found a buyer that shares similar values, stating that Together Energy have proved to be ‘committed to doing the very best for their staff, customers and the environment’. CEO of Together Energy, Paul Richards, has also described the two companies as having ‘great synergy’ and being a ‘natural fit’.
Bristol Energy recently came under some major criticism as it was discovered that the company made a £32m loss, whilst last year paying their Managing Director, Marek Majewicz, a salary of £228,081, accompanied by a £94,879 payout on leaving the company. Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, also reportedly earnt a salary in excess of £75,000, whilst tax payers money was being lost at an outstanding rate of over £1m per month.
Despite the negativity surrounding the sale, it will no doubt provide reassurance to the 110 staff who’s jobs have now been secured, as it is confirmed that they will move over to Together and continue to work from Bristol. Together Energy have also reassured customers that they will not find themselves affected by the takeover and that nothing is changing – tariffs, terms and conditions and making contact will all remain the same.
Worryingly, however, Bristol Energy is not the only council owned energy supplier to face difficulties in recent times. After posting a loss of £23m in it’s April 2018 to march 2019 results, on September 4th, Robin Hood Energy, owned by Nottingham City Council, sold their customer book of 112,000 residential customers and 2,600 business customers to Centrica’s British Gas. As a result of the sale (for an undisclosed figure) in excess of 230 staff were made redundant via Skype and over 120,000 customers, many of whom were reportedly living in poverty, were transferred over to a corporate giant!
Both companies were owned by Labour Councils, which understandably led customers to believe that they were a safe choice of supplier. The shock takeovers and the publishing of the losses have highlighted the importance of doing your research when it comes to choosing a supplier.