Jack Brereton MP will tomorrow meet Tim Day, Head of Community Energy at Solarplicity, to raise the ongoing issues which have affected a large number of his constituents. The Stoke-on-Trent South MP has also secured a meeting next week to discuss this issue with Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Jack said “The amount of complaints which I have received about the poor quality of service from Solarplicity far outstrips that concerning any other energy supplier, and I have a large number of important questions for the firm. It is totally unacceptable for numerous letters and emails from me and my constituents to go unanswered. Many vulnerable people have suffered because of the shockingly poor service they have experienced. My constituents deserve far better than this.”
In addition to numerous correspondence with the company, Ofgem and Ministers, Jack has also written this latest letter to Tim Day to detail the issues his constituents have experienced with the service they have received. The text of this letter is as follows:
Thank you for your letter of today's date which I have received via e-mail. Firstly, I appreciate the time that you have taken to now respond in detail to some of the complaints that I have raised on behalf of my Stoke-on-Trent South constituents. I am also grateful to you for agreeing to meet with me on Thursday.
I regret that I cannot agree with you that the volume of complaints made about your company's dealings with my constituents is small. The complaints that I have referred to you far outstrip the total number of complaints that I have dealt with this year regarding all other energy companies combined. To date correspondence from Solarplicity in addressing the concerns I have raised on behalf of my constituents has been extremely poor with most not receiving any answer at all, and this falls well below the standards that are acceptable.
The 217 complaints that you have identified represent a significant number of households in my city, many of them very vulnerable local authority tenants, who have a reasonable expectation that the operator of the local community energy scheme that works in partnership with their landlord will deal with them fairly and transparently.
As you will be aware, I am in communication with Ofgem regarding the issues that my constituents have brought to me. I note with regret that it was only when faced with the regulatory authority's orders of 22nd February and 17th April that substantial action was taken to meet the Standard Licence Conditions under which you supply energy. Your company continues to be bound by undertakings not to take on new customers and to report to the regulatory authority on a regular basis.
I hope and expect that as a result of the regulatory intervention Solarplicity will meet the basic standards of service that customers expect. I will, however, have no hesitation in making further representation to Ofgem if I feel that the company has failed to meet its commitments at the point when the undertaking in respect of new business expires on 5 August. I am also continuing to engage closely with Ministers in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and will be meeting with the Secretary of State next week to discuss these matters further.
I do not doubt that Stoke-on-Trent City Council has worked positively and proactively to bring forward the community energy scheme that your company is delivering. My responsibility, however, is towards my constituents whose negative comments about poor billing services, unresponsive customer service, sharp trading practices and workmanship fall on your company.
Once again, thank you for agreeing to meet with me on Thursday. I will look forward to discussing the matters that my constituents have raised with me in more detail.