By FWi Staff

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. “We have been aware for some time that Independent were encountering difficulties with billing and reading meters on time.

“This, in addition to the collapse of a new computer system, led to huge cash flow problems. They simply couldnt fulfil their financial obligations fast enough.”

Farmers were attracted to the company by its “bargain basement electricity prices”. Electricity regulator OfGen is dealing with the situation and farmers neednt 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.”

It is too early to say whether clients that have contracts with Independent will be affected, but the general feeling is not one of major concern.

“I have heard of several clients that were unhappy with the service, and Independent werent geared up to take on the amount of business that they did,” says Graham Allison of RAMSAK (Ring of Agricultural Machinery in Sussex and Kent).

“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 voluntary information service where farmers can register their details to receive the latest news and advice on the best course of action to take. The FEC can be contacted on 02476 696512 or by e-mailing advice@farmenergy.com