The story of Melee Energy began in March.
Within hours, Meli Energy had 800 customers they didn’t want.
The company sold very favorable fixed price contracts to people in southern Norway. A deal they themselves said should have been cancelled.
Through the Facebook group “Prismach Storm”, 60,000 Norwegians saw the offer and many more chose to sign up.
Afterward, Meloy Energy battled bankruptcy — and it came to a head when the company offered Southern customers money to cancel contracts.
So they wanted to get rid of 800 customers in southern Norway.
Now another change is happening:
Meloy Energy is transferring all local customers to another northern Norwegian company: Polar Craft.
Meloy Energy now only has customers in southern Norway, customers they have been trying to get rid of for a long time.
– Electricity companies have high demands, and at the same time it is a high-risk industry, which we experienced in 2022, chairman Rolf-Inge Schleibnes tells NRK.
But the sale of electricity customers isn’t about bringing in more money, says Sleipness.
– This sale is not linked to us holding money as a result of a loss. It has been a work in progress for years.
At length, things got so bad for the municipally-owned company that Sleepness had to inform the owners that the company was in danger of bankruptcy.
It has now been cancelled.
– No risk of bankruptcy. All employees have been informed that the company will not go bankrupt.
– How real is the risk of bankruptcy?
– It’s very real. Losses over the entire period were NOK 50-60 million. If the electricity price reaches NOK 4, we are not guaranteed a quantity of electricity and no one accepts the offer to withdraw from the fixed price contract, we may have to tender.
– What would you say to customers who accepted the offer and who contributed to saving the company now?
– I am very happy about it. They are critical to finding a solution. I would like to thank those who accepted.
In a press release, director Børge Skaret Selstad describes that the power sector is changing with new requirements and changed laws.
“End-user sales are a high-risk market, with little domestic employment effect and further pressure from new, pointed requirements.” They wrote.
Also, they explain that a small player needs a lot of resources to offer a full range of products.
– With 4-5,000 customers, we are not going to make money selling electricity to end customers. And we won’t be able to compete with the big players,” continues Schleipness.
He says only one out of 32 man-years at the company is linked to selling electricity to customers.
– I liken it to the old post office. At one point or another, you’ll need to organize yourself into larger units, says Sleipness.
KEEPING CUSTOMERS IN THE SOUTH
The company said they worked for more than two years to sell customers to another company.
But it is a drag with customers in the south.
“Now the company is in a position to complete this process.” They wrote.
Customers in northern and central Norway have now switched to Polar Craft, and Meloy Energy describes it as a future-oriented solution.
What will happen to customers in southern Norway?
“Meløy Energi will continue to stand by its commitments to fixed price customers in the south.” They wrote.
Sleipnes would not say how much Polar Kraft paid to buy the customer portfolio.
– What I can say is that we have been negotiating with many actors and now we are absolutely clear that we have a good deal. Now we don’t have to get a single penny from our owners.
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