Ofgem revokes Victory Energy licence as 'ghostly figure' haunts Portsmouth City Council

THE ‘ghostly figure’ of a defunct energy supply firm created by councillors continues to haunt the civic offices.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 1:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th May 2020, 12:24 pm

The Victory Energy spectre remains an ‘arm’s length’ company owned by Portsmouth City Council as it holds a potentially valuable utilities licence.

As reported, the council joint venture scheme was axed, resurrected and killed off again in the midst of political tussle over control of the authority - to the loss of more than £3m taxpayers’ cash.

The final decision to close the company, which entered an ill-fated sponsorship deal with Pompey, was made in November 2018.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Victory Energy's website

But 18 months on the company still exists, and is still owned by the city council with top officers and senior councillors as directors.

Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson told The News: ‘It’s still there as a ghostly figure. It looks as if we got away lightly - the two other big players in municipal energy is Bristol, whose debts are over £30m, and it’s expected to be wound up this year, and Robin Hood Energy.’

Bristol City Council poured in £35m to set up its firm in 2011 but is now looking to sell, with it not expected to recoup the full costs, Sky News reported. And Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy posted a £23m loss for 2018/19, and has pointed advisors, it has been reported.

Read More

Read More
Southsea pervert admits having more than 11,000 child abuse images

Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: ‘We’ve tried to sell it and nobody would buy it.’

Victory did hold an Ofgem licence for energy, meaning anyone who bought the firm would be able to operate it ‘oven-ready,’ Cllr Vernon-Jackson said.

But Ofgem revoked the energy supply licence on March 25 as the firm failed to operate. It is not trading or operating, the council confirmed.

The company is no longer staffed, and even its office artificial Christmas tree has been thrown away.

In his budget speech in February, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the 2018 ‘decision to shut down Victory Energy has saved the city many millions’.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on portsmouth.co.uk. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to portsmouth.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit our Subscription page now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.