Combined Heat & Power, District Heating & Cooling, Demand Side Services, Energy Efficiency

Social Energy closes electricity and gas supply business, continues in solar battery optimisation

17 November 2021

Renewable energy scale-up Social Energy has taken the decision to close its electricity and gas supply business in light of untenable current market conditions, but will continue to operate as a solar battery optimisation company, selling smart battery systems and providing ongoing savings to its customers.

The cleantech company with 7,100+ connected solar battery customers acted as the energy supplier for 5,600 of its customers, helping them to keep their bills as low as possible, in addition to the savings that they make from their solar and battery systems. With the current spiking costs across wholesale electricity and gas, Social Energy has been forced to close its retail energy supply business, and like numerous other suppliers, enter Ofgem’s Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process.

Since its launch in 2019, Social Energy has always had a different business model to many other supply businesses, has never appeared on switching websites or offered loss-leading tariffs. However, with energy suppliers forced to now sell energy at a loss under the Ofgem price cap, the management team have concluded that the UK supply business is no longer viable.

Whilst the company will close its Ofgem regulated UK Energy Supply business, Social Energy Supply Ltd., it will continue to run its core business in the supply and optimisation of smart solar battery systems, helping homeowners in both the UK and Australia to vastly reduce their energy bills. This continuation means that Social Energy’s existing customers will continue to receive benefits from their system, with monthly credits earned for taking part in the company’s smart battery community.

In taking this difficult decision, the company will protect jobs and customers, and anticipates growth across its primary UK business. Rising energy bills continue to increase the financial case for purchasing a home rooftop solar system, with a connected battery. With prices expected to rise again for billpayers at the price-cap review in April 2022, there will be a greater need for homeowners to explore alternative ways of getting the energy that they need to power their homes and secure long-term certainty, whilst also supporting the UK’s transition to net zero.

As the rising costs of energy will impact the most vulnerable in society hardest, Social Energy is also working to expand upon several trials with Social Housing landlords and Local Authorities, to provide an innovative solution that keeps bills low for tenants, whilst delivering a profitable investment to the asset owner.

With this growth in mind, Social Energy plans to transition all of its supply company employees across to other parts of the group, reducing the impact to an already hard hit industry. The employer currently operates three UK offices in Gloucester, West Yorkshire and Oxford, running operations for its UK business and supporting its rapidly growing Australian business, which operates out of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Social Energy will continue to have a money saving offering for new and existing UK customers, providing them with monthly payments for taking part in its battery optimisation service.

Richard Smith, CEO, Social Energy, said: 

"It’s an extremely difficult time in the UK energy market right now, where we’re seeing many of our innovative peers forced to leave the sector altogether, with an unprecedented inability to sell energy at a profit. We are very grateful to be in a position whereby our business can continue to successfully operate without an energy supply business and to keep offering savings to customers new and old.

“We have an outstanding team at Social Energy, who will now be focussed on reworking our business proposition, to support our customers and preparing to scale our smart solar battery sales in 2022, as homeowners look for better ways to power their homes.”   

To find out more about Social Energy, visit:  

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