A FORMER cabinet member has expressed fears over the council’s £18 million investment into a company after it finished bottom of an energy provider table.

The Labour-run authority is putting £18 million into Together Energy, as well as providing a £4 million loan to the Scottish firm.

Which? – an organisation promoting informed consumer choice in the purchase of goods and services by testing products – has rated energy firms in Great Britain following feedback from customers.

Octopus Energy topped the table, while Together Energy finished last after being placed number 35.

The chart included matters including bill accuracy, bill clarity, customer service and value for money.

Together Energy got an overall customer score of 48 per cent.

It has sparked concerns from Cllr Dan Price (IND – Great Sankey North and Whittle Hall), the council’s former portfolio holder for culture and partnerships.

Warrington Guardian:

Cllr Dan Price

He says the investment ‘seriously worries’ him.

“I really hope Cllr Cathy Mitchell knows something we don’t know, otherwise I worry about the £18 million the council lent them,” said Cllr Price.

Cllr Mitchell is the deputy leader, responsible for corporate resources.

Together Energy highlighted that it has previously been commended by Which? for the ‘ease with which customers can contact us, the speed we answer customer calls and the clarity of our bills’.

A spokesman added: “In previous Which? surveys we secured a mid-table position and were recognised as being one of the few energy suppliers to answer calls in less than 60 seconds.

“This is supported by good performance over the last 12 months in Citizens Advice Bureau league tables where we have consistently been recognised for strong performance in ease of contact, ease of switching, bill accuracy, and bill timeliness, and we are actively addressing our level of complaints.

“We are disappointed, therefore, that the 52 Together Energy customers surveyed by Which? in September 2019 did not receive the same level of service that we have been recognised for in the past.

“We are constantly reviewing our performance and looking for ways to improve.

“Since the survey was carried out, we have more than doubled our workforce to effectively deal with customer enquiries, we have introduced a new customer-centric communication systems and strengthened our management team.”

The council did not wish to provide a further comment.