EXTERNAL advisers are being used by the council to assess the day-to-day situation of an energy company which it has invested in.

Deputy council leader Cllr Cathy Mitchell, who is the portfolio holder for corporate resources, updated the cabinet on the performance of Together Energy and the impact of the ‘current turbulence in the European energy markets’ during its meeting on Monday.

The Labour politician said the matter is being kept under constant review.

Cllr Mitchell also confirmed external advisers have been engaged to help monitor the day-to-day situation.

“We’ve all seen in the news the impact of the massive rises in energy prices – that’s on consumers, businesses and on the sector itself,” she said.

“No one could have predicted this situation.”

READ MORE> Council looking at solitions to traveller issue

Cllr Mitchell said it is looking ‘as good as it can be’ in the circumstances because of the company’s ‘very careful’ hedging policy, while council leader Cllr Russ Bowden said the company is performing strongly.

The council purchased a 50 per cent stake in Together Energy in October 2019 for £18 million, along with granting an 18-month £4 million loan. The latter has now been repaid.

A further £20 million revolving credit facility loan, currently drawn in full, and an ‘Orsted guarantee’, currently valued at £7.4 million, have been subsequently agreed by the cabinet which brings the council’s current ‘potential exposure’ to Together Energy to £45.4 million.

But Cllr Mitchell’s report to the cabinet says, at the time of writing the report, the council’s exposure to Together Energy is £38 million.

The cabinet also backed a move to act as required to ‘protect the council’s interests’ in Together Energy.

Members voted in favour of delegating to the director of corporate services and deputy chief executive the authority to proceed with any of the options in respect of the council’s ongoing investment in Together Energy Limited, following consultation with the director of legal and democratic services and Cllr Mitchell.