Energy business Ecotricity has announced a 7.9 per cent increase in turnover in 2021 to nearly £240 million, with founder Dale Vince also releasing a statement explaining its links to Russian energy giant Gazprom.
The Stroud-headquartered green energy pioneer said a rise in business customers had helped it continue its growth of 2020 (up 15 per cent) through 2021 = and it expected more of the same in 2022.
But it said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic meant many staff were still working from home, meaning the uplift in income from extra business customers had been less than expected.
Asif Rehmanwala, chief executive officer at Ecotricity, said: ‘Turnover for the year increased by 7.9 per cent to £239,774,239 as the business continues to grow its customer base.
‘However, gross profit has decreased by 18.1 per cent to £23.6 million.’
Rehmanwala said the firm had built a ‘good platform, standing the company in a strong position for the year to come.’
Vince said the business had looked at dealings it might have with Russian energy suppliers, given trading restrictions placed on the country as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement he said Ecotricity had an existing trading relationship with Russian gas giant Gazprom, but risked penalties approaching £10 million if it broke that contract now.
‘We concluded the best thing to do is see the contract through and then move on,’ said Vince.
British Gas owner Centrica was the third big British energy firm to announce it would cancel its contracts with Russian suppliers as a matter of ‘urgency’, but did not say when that would be.
According to data firm Tussell, the UK public sector paid Gazprom an estimated £107 million between 2016 and 2021, £77 million of that coming from the NHS.
Health secretary Sajid Javid has urged the NHS to stop using the majority state-owned Russian supplier.