Local authorities paying £863m per year to ‘big six’ energy companies

A freedom of information request from green energy company Bulb has revealed how local authorities are spending their money on energy.

The FOI request was made to 273 out of 408 (67%) local authorities in Britain, and revealed:

  • Local authorities are paying £863m to the ‘big six’ oil and gas companies every year.
  • No local authority in Britain has switched to a fully renewable supplier.
  • Nine out of ten local authorities are supplied by one of the ‘big six’ or big oil companies.
  • In contrast, 20% of British households have switched to cheaper challenger energy companies.

They have called on local authorities across the country to switch to renewable energy suppliers in order to cut costs, and ahead of the upcoming local elections, Bulb is urging local residents to write to candidates to ask their local authority to switch to a renewable energy provider.

Bulb say that the figures come despite a big government drive to encourage switching providers with ‘a number of outspoken council leaders and mayors openly supporting renewables, and encouraging their residents to switch to smaller suppliers for environmental as well as cost reasons.’

Bulb has called on local authorities across the country to switch to renewable energy suppliers in order to cut costs.

Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood said: ‘There’s a huge opportunity for councils across the country to lead from the front and show that they are committed to a renewable future.

‘Sadly, our research reveals that councils – including some who have expressed vocal support for renewables – are currently missing out on the chance to go green. A change would benefit the environment while opening up opportunities to cut publicly-funded energy bills.

‘That’s why we are encouraging people to write to their local councils and call on them to commit to switching to a renewable energy provider. We’d love to see councils help protect the planet, and save some money for residents too.’

Caitlin Burbridge, a community organiser with Citizens UK, said: ‘Councils have a responsibility to seek the best value for money for their residents, and spending on energy should be no different.

‘With many smaller suppliers offering cheaper tariffs, and often green energy, councils should look to shop around rather than continue to stick with the Big Six. We are committed to finding the most cost-effective, green, and transparent ways for consumers to purchase energy.

‘Local authorities have an ability to set a strong precedent in their area in favour of fairer, cheaper, and more ethical energy choices.’

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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