15 September 2000

Company victim of own success

INDEPENDENT Energy, the Midlands-based electricity supply company with over 5000 farmers on its books, has gone into receivership.

"They are very much a victim of their own success," says Andrew Kneeshaw, manager of the Farm Energy Centre, Stoneleigh. The company had difficulties with billing and reading meters on time.

That, and the collapse of a new computer system, led to cash flow problems, he adds.

Farmers were attracted to the company by its low prices. Electricity regulator OfGen is dealing with the problem and farmers need not worry about being disconnected, adds Mr Kneeshaw.

"There are a few options as to the future of Independent, and I suspect that sorting things out could be a long and messy business."

Graham Allison of south-east-based machinery ring RAMSAK, says: "It remains to be seen what the final outcome will be, but we are not concerned. We will find another supplier who can offer equally competitive rates."

The FEC has opened a helpline for farmers on 02476 696512. &#42