22 Aug Launch an energy company or repair the roads?
Will local councillors find this item increasingly under AOB on their meeting agendas?
With cuts in funding from central government leading to cuts in services to maintain their statutory core services, it is understandable that Local Authorities are seeking alternative sources of revenue. But is an energy supply company a viable option?
It is a crowded market place with over 80 suppliers vying for business. What will be the USP that will convince consumers to buy local? Ultimately it seems that price is still the decider as Bristol City Council chose British Gas for their last contract over their own company Bristol Energy on the basis of cost.
Breaking into the big six market share requires a lot of investment and nerve and doesn’t appear to be a guarantee of early returns. Portsmouth City Council have recently reversed a decision and decided against floating their own energy boat. But it can work.
Robin Hood Energy owned by Nottingham City Council have returned an operating surplus in their third year of trading of £ 220,000 and larger returns may follow, but for now they have a green socially responsible model which is washing its face in terms of funding and ploughing its profits back into the local community.
So no highway robbery in Nottingham.
Definitely more Robin Hood than Dick Turpin.