The Enova Community Energy Board announced Tuesday that Enova Community Energy and Enova Energy, its retail electricity arm, have been placed into voluntary administration.
In a media statement, the locally-based company said Cathro Partners has been appointed to manage the administration process.
Their statement reads, ‘There has been significant media attention to the energy crisis in recent weeks and, owing to the prevailing market conditions, Enova has not been able to secure suitable wholesale energy price hedging following the agreement with Diamond Energy ending’.
‘Combined with a cap imposed on customer pricing, this has led to the business no longer being financially viable.
‘The Enova Board and leadership team have worked tirelessly during this period to explore all options to secure the continuation of the business, with voluntary administration being the last resort to prevent trading while insolvent’.
Felicity Stening, Enova’s Managing Director and CEO said, ‘The current diabolical state of the energy market, combined with the high wholesale market energy prices and the cap on customer pricing, has made it impossible for Enova Energy and many other small retailers to operate in the market’.
‘The market is broken and does not support small retailers.
Constant regulatory changes
‘In addition, the constant raft of State and federal government regulatory changes is adding to the market complexities and have caused Enova delays in being able to fund and resource energy innovation. We are very supportive of the Labor government’s fast action and current review of the energy markets. However, there needs to be greater emphasis on the plight of retailers.
‘I have been privileged over the last four-and-a-half years to lead a passionate and capable team to grow our movement from 3,500 customers in one regional network, to servicing 13,200 customers across all of NSW and South-East Qld’, she said.
‘Enova’s incredibly hard-working Board and team have constantly demonstrated dedication, resilience, tenacity, collaboration, and strength while we’ve navigated some heavy storms over the last few years including bushfires, COVID-19, the 2021 wholesale energy market crisis, the recent Northern NSW floods and the current wholesale energy market crisis.
‘Retail energy is a complex and difficult market for smaller organisations to operate in. However, small and medium retailers provide a much-needed alternative to the big players to maintain competition and ensure consumers have choice.
‘Since its inception, Enova has found customers that are not just looking for a competitive price but are also seeking organisations that employ locally-based teams, are renewables-focused, community-minded and Australian owned. Already several smaller market participants have had to exit the market and many more retailers have withdrawn offers from the market and advised existing customers to seek out a new energy provider’.
John Taberner, Chair of Enova Community Energy, added that, ‘The energy crisis is a matter of national significance that requires the urgent attention of government and regulators’.
John said that ‘the Enova Board’s decision to enter voluntary administration has not been taken lightly, and comes as a result of the organisation being extremely challenged in recent months by external factors, specifically the previously unseen activity on the wholesale energy market, including severe and sustained wholesale electricity pricing.
‘On behalf of the Enova Board and team, I would like to thank our shareholders, customers and lenders that have been an integral part of the Enova journey and who we know will continue to champion the need for a rapid transition to a much-needed distributed renewable electricity model in Australia’.