By Martin Clark
It has been an eventful year for 100per cent green energy supplier, Good Energy PLC.Shares have performed well throughout 2021, floating upwards to hover in the 300-350p range compared to around 175p at the start of the year.That’s impressive during what has been a turbulent few months, both within the energy sector generally, and in the face of a hostile takeover bid from rival Ecotricity.
But behind Good Energy is a good business which includes its own mature wind and solar generating portfolio, providing 47.5MW to power approximately 15per cent of its customer base, and interests that span the fast-developing electric vehicles (EV) market.Little wonder then that it has attracted the attention of suitors.Ecotricity’s improved takeover bid of 400p per share lapsed in October.Will Whitehorn, Good Energy’s chair, stated on 8 October, 2021 that he considered the rejection of the offer “a resounding endorsement” from shareholders.
The company is winning other admirers too. It recently topped Which? magazine’s new league table on the sustainability of energy suppliers, awarding Good Energy the highest score and new Eco Provider badge. Nigel Pocklington, who took over as CEO earlier this year from founder, Juliet Davenport, said the recognition validated the work the company has been doing to support renewables for over 20 years. With consumers growing ever-more environmentally aware about energy choices, it places Good Energy in an enviable position as a trusted player in a dynamic market.
“Greenwashing is rife in the energy market with most suppliers not buying the green power to match their green tariffs,” said Pocklington. “But the tide is turning and Which?’s new scheme will help people tell the difference between those companies who walk the walk, and those who don’t.”As well as growing interest in clean energy among consumers, Good Energy is also plugged into the rapidly expanding EV market, which holds further long-term potential.
Indeed, September 2021 saw record-breaking growth in the UK EV market — one in seven of all cars sold was a battery EV, representing a 49.4 per cent increase from a year earlier, a trend that is forecast to continue. The company reaffirmed its commitment to this area in its last trading update, for the nine-month period to the end of September 2021, where it said it was on track to meet full-year expectations.
It has an interest in Zap-Map, the UK’s leading EV mapping platform, which continues to perform strongly with positive trends on recurring revenue subscriptions, further rollout of Zap-Pay with key chargepoint operators and a pipeline of products for the remainder of 2021. Good Energy has said that it is also looking to partake in upcoming fundraising activities for Zap-Map to build on this market opportunity and accelerate growth ambitions. “Zap-Map continues to have an exciting future as the leading EV mapping platform,” said Pocklington. “We look forward to continuing to invest in the EV market and supporting Zap on the next stage of its journey.
Most recently, Zap-Map signed Connected Kerb as the latest charge point operator. Despite the recent volatility in wholesale energy prices, Pocklington said he remains positive on the long-term opportunity in the company’s core markets. “The challenges within the UK energy sector have been well documented, but with 20 years’ experience we remain differentiated through strong governance, a prudent approach to risk management and a genuinely differentiated green product.”
It is also rewarding shareholders following the lapse of Ecotricity’s cash offer by re-starting dividends.“We reiterated our intention to resume the dividend this year and intend to maintain a progressive dividend policy,” the CEO commented on 11 October.