Plastics pair hopes to found new energy supplier

A pair of businessmen from the North West of England hope to found a new energy supplier called Smarter Eco Energy. They have applied to Ofgem for an electricity supply […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A pair of businessmen from the North West of England hope to found a new energy supplier called Smarter Eco Energy.

They have applied to Ofgem for an electricity supply licence and eventually intend to supply homes and possibly businesses as well.

Andrew Whittingham, 47, who previously worked in the plastic distribution business for 25 years, made the decision to begin the long route to supplying energy with business partner Andrew Clare, when frustrated by complex energy bills.

Mr Whittingham told ELN it was “early days” for the registered company which has yet to open a website. He expected the licence to come through in roughly 12 months.

Initial plans would see the Manchester-based firm offer only one tariff each for gas and electricity, “nothing crazy” like some suppliers currently have, he said: “We’ll buy from the electricity and gas market to start with and then supply on our own. It’s going to be a growing thing… We’ll start looking at products such as LEDs and energy saving products.”

He took issue with the way some suppliers charge more for paying with direct debit monthly than quarterly: “Everyone should have bills monthly so they can keep on top of their outgoings.”

Regulator Ofgem has said it wants to crack open the electricity industry to allow more suppliers to get into the market and a number of new suppliers are squeezing their way into the supply business. However applying for the licence hasn’t been easy, suggested Mr Whittingham: “Even Ofgem’s been difficult to deal with… and we’ve still got to deal with the requirements of gas and electricity suppliers.”

They wouldn’t supply purely renewable energy to start with: “I don’t think there’s enough of it about yet,” said Mr Whittingham, adding they might do some turbines in the North West and Ireland.