Association calls for energy policy overhaul as company collapses

The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) has called on the Government to rethink its entire approach to energy policy following the news that the Mark Group has gone into administration.

Staff at the Leicester-based solar energy firm were told the company had gone into administration with the loss of more than 900 jobs on October 7.

Deloitte have been appointed as administrators.

In a statement, the company said: "This decision has not been taken lightly but the ongoing losses of the business meant it was our only option.

"The turnaround plan, which was already underway, focused on solar panels but the Government's recent policy announcements mean this is no longer viable.”

The chief executive of the SEA, Dave Sowden, said it was “disastrous news” for staff at the Mark Group and “could easily have been avoided if the Government had paid attention to clear signals about the need to instill confidence in the market”. 

“Ministers were warned long before the election of a confidence problem in the sector due to lack of clarity on policy and frankly could have easily prevented this,” said Mr Sowden.

“Energy measures in buildings are by far the most cost effective way of meeting our energy policy objectives and the best way for the energy sector to help deliver George Osborne’s long term economic plan. The Government’s rhetoric on meeting climate change targets, on placing energy efficiency at the heart of energy policy and the effusive support given by Ministers for solar, today feels hollow and empty.

“There can be no stronger case for quickly filling the policy vacuum in all these areas affecting energy measures in buildings and we call on the Government urgently to agree to a new Energy White Paper that properly places buildings at the heart of energy policy,” he added.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues