Economy and Infrastructure

29.06.18

Planned council-owned energy firm could drastically cut bills in Wales first

A “pioneering” proposal is being considered by Swansea Council for the creation of an energy firm wholly owned by the authority – which, while not innovative in England, would be the first of its kind in Wales.

If the proposals go through, it would see the formation of a not-for-profit energy company based in the city with local residents as its focus. Its aim would be to challenge the gas and electric prices of the Big Six to cut bills for local residents and businesses.

The council has launched a public consultation and, if supported, a detailed business case will be drawn up. The company could be set up within two years if viable.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for homes and energy, said: “The energy market is broken – it's dominated by a small number of big businesses that charge over the odds, lack transparency and offer poor customer service.”

The Big Six dominate around 80% of the market, she added, and their high tariffs have “significant” social consequences, with the taxpayer picking up the bill.

Lewis continued: “Our investigation will ask the people of Swansea if they would consider buying energy at a low cost from a local, people-friendly, not-for-profit company."

“We'll only go ahead if we know there is an appetite in Swansea for us to offer this service and for that we need to be sure that people would consider being customers. I hope that the people and businesses across Swansea take part in our consultation.”

The proposals come as a major tidal energy project – the £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon – was recently cancelled on cost grounds.

Top: leighcol via iStock 

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

25/03/2019Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

Birmingham City Council has been accused of “unprecedented levels of financial incompetence” after it received its third auditor warn... more >
First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

25/03/2019First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

A six-year pay dispute between councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council at a cost of £4m will mean the rules around senior council ... more >
RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

25/03/2019RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is attempting to wind down the remainder of around £1bn in controversial LOBO bank loans. Seven local... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

25/03/2019Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

Birmingham City Council has been accused of “unprecedented levels of financial incompetence” after it received its third auditor warning in four years. Finance and governance dir... more >
First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

25/03/2019First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

A six-year pay dispute between councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council at a cost of £4m will mean the rules around senior council officers’ pay in Wales will be changed, firs... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this year’s Spending Review. Our #CouncilsCan campaign to influence this year’s Spending Review is well underway and gathering momentum. The money local governm... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest concerns for local councils in recent years, leading to some innovative... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, describes the benefits of... more >
National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

11/03/2019National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment was released in July 2018, making a variety of recommenda... more >
SARS II: Recovery made easy

11/03/2019SARS II: Recovery made easy

Paul Bentley, of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), introduces us to the Spend Analysis Recovery Framework: a no win no fee means of carrying ou... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News