Over 400 jobs saved at Spark Energy in Selkirk

Spark employs more than 400 people from its offices in Selkirk's Ettrick Riverside.
Spark employs more than 400 people from its offices in Selkirk's Ettrick Riverside.

More than 400 people working for Spark Energy in Selkirk were told this week that their jobs were saved.

Fears were raised last Friday, as Spark Energy Supply Limited, the part of the Spark Group which holds its energy licence, ceased trading in the energy supply market – and the company called in auditors KPMG to see if a rescue package could be realised.

Energy supplier watchdog Ofgem had been investigating Spark Energy Supply Ltd’s alleged non-payment of a Renewables Obligation Order – a levy due to be paid by suppliers which do not utilise the required proportion of electricity from renewable sources. That investigation ended when the company ceased trading.

As several other energy suppliers have gone bust this year – the latest being Extra Energy – there were fears that Spark calling in KPMG could lead to the company going into administration– and the loss of more than 400 jobs would have been a massive blow to the area.

However, on Tuesday, Bristol-based Ovo Energy revealed it had made a 100% acquisition of Spark Energy Ltd, and that all its staff, based at Selkirk, Edinburgh and Horsham, would transfer automatically with the business under their existing employment contracts.

Ovo also took on Spark’s 290,000 customers.

Chris Gauld, Spark’s chief executive officer, said: “This is great news. It means Spark becomes part of a very successful large independent energy supplier.

“We will service our customers, under Ovo’s licence, from our existing offices, and continue to grow our niche model of partnering with leading letting and estate agent companies.

“I’m delighted that we can continue to grow as part of the Ovo family with a renewed confidence in the future despite the challenges the sector is facing.”

○ See tomorrow’s Southern Reporter for reaction to the news