Orkney’s parliamentarians, Liam McArthur MSP and Alistair Carmichael MP have written to the CEO of OVO Energy to raise concerns over lengthy delays in constituents receiving Feed-in Tariff payments.
The move follows a number of constituents contacting Mr McArthur and Mr Carmichael to complain that they had not received payments they were due in return for electricity generated from wind turbines. It has been suggested that the problems have emerged, or certainly got worse, since OVO Energy took over responsibility for making payments from SSE Energy in 2020.
A meeting with senior OVO representatives has been sought to identify the source of the problem and ways of ensuring FIT payments to Northern Isles constituents are made in a more timely fashion. Ahead of the meeting, Mr McArthur and Mr Carmichael are inviting any constituent who finds themselves in a similar position to get in touch with the constituency office as soon as possible.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“It is concerning to hear that payments are being delayed to such an extent. There seems no good reason why this should be the case, not least given the profits being made by energy companies at the moment.
“To make matters worse, it appears that when constituents have complained to OVO Energy about the delays, nothing much has changed. That is not acceptable and steps must be taken by OVO Energy to identify the source of the problem and puts things right.
“Alistair and I have written to OVO Energy’s Chief Executive and will be meeting senior representatives of the company in the coming days. In the meantime, we would encourage any constituents who have been experiencing difficulties in obtaining FIT payments to get in touch with our constituency office so that their case can be raised during the planned meeting.”
Mr Carmichael said:
“The feed-in tariff system is far from perfect but for many it is an important way to reduce their bills – still more important given the sky-high prices families in the isles have endured in recent years. The last thing we need is for payments to be delayed for no good reason, by OVO or any other company. We need to see this problem reversed and assurances given that it will not recur as we head into the next winter.
“These issues again point to the need for Ofgem to take its remit to regulate energy markets more seriously. If we want to encourage people to take up more renewable generation and cut bills then government agencies need to play their part to drive that forward.”