Hackney Council are the latest local authority to announce they will be setting up their own energy company.
The plans, which have been approved by the council’s cabinet, will utilise 50% of the council’s residential roof space by covering them with solar panels.
The council estimate 9,700 households in Hackney suffer from fuel poverty, and they believe a publicly-owned energy company will put them in a stronger position to make ‘strategic decisions’ in order to assist vulnerable residents.
They add the company aims to ‘go beyond’ other council-owned energy companies such as Robin Hood Energy in Nottingham, by ensuring that financial risk is limited.
In August, Portsmouth City Council abandoned plans to create its own energy company called Victory Energy after the new administration decided to cut its losses and not proceed with the venture.
A report by PwC into the business case for Victory Energy concluded it could require up to £15.2m of taxpayers money to get up and running and would not be able to pay it back for up to eight years.
Cllr Jon Burke, cabinet member for Energy, Sustainability, & Community Services in Hackney said: ‘In the face of limited, and often retrograde, Central Government action, Hackney is joining a movement across local government that is helping to transform the energy system from one underpinned by fossil fuels, to one characterised by clean and extremely low carbon sources of energy.
‘It is our aim to protect residents and the environment we live in. By ensuring there is another publicly-owned, publicly-accountable energy company in the marketplace, we believe we can achieve these goals while placing reputational pressure on the dominant players of the energy world, driving change more broadly.’
In June, The Nottingham City Council-owned company Robin Hood announced it made an operating surplus three years after it started trading.