Read the new report on Energy Democracy from the Public and Commercial Services Union, setting out their demands for publicly owned and democratically controlled energy. With the news that Trump has pulled out from the Paris agreement, it is more important than ever to create our own transition to renewable, public energy through links between workers and communities.
In September 2015 Robin Hood Energy became the first publicly owned energy company in operation since 1948! This not for profit energy supplier was set up in 2015 by Nottingham City Council and it aims to offer affordable energy and fight fuel poverty across the region.
The company is committed to offering the lowest prices that it can and operates without frills, this means no directors bonuses or paid shareholders. Profit made by the company goes straight back into keeping prices as low as possible for customers.
The East Midlands in particular, is reaping the benefits of having a local authority owned energy supplier. In June 2016 the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) released a report demonstrating that the average tariff in the East Midlands has decreased by £87 a year since Nottingham City Council entered the market last September.
Unlike a lot of the larger suppliers, Robin Hood Energy is committed to supporting prepayment customers who are often fuel poor and vulnerable. At its launch in November 2015 Robin Hood Energy’s Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) tariff was one of the first competitive prepayment tariffs in the country. With this year’s roll out of smart meters for PAYG customers, Robin Hood Energy hopes to have an even bigger role in reducing fuel costs across the country.
Robin Hood Energy customer Emma Hodgett recently gave an interview to The Mirror journalist Ros Wynne Jones.
“Something’s always charging when you’re a family of six with three teenagers,” The human resources manager says her family used to spend £230 a month on gas and electricity with a Big Six rival.
“It used to be our biggest outgoing after rent,” she says. “Now we spend around £110 with Robin Hood Energy. That £120 a month has made a huge difference to our lives. It’s £1,440 a year.”
Her partner Chris, who runs the household while Emma is at work, says he is able to keep the house warmer and still save. “They always used to be on at us about charging things,” their daughter Grace says. “Now they’re much more relaxed.” Their other children Lottie, six, Georgia 17, and Elliott, 20, agree.
Chris says: “We were shocked that Robin Hood Energy could do it so reasonably after being ripped off for so many years.”
It’s stories like this that make Robin Hood Energy so determined to carry on with the fight against fuel poverty. Too many hard working families find that they are cutting back on essentials to keep their house warm, essentials that can include food. While energy companies continue to increase prices more and more energy users are looking for an alternative supplier who’ll reward customer loyalty and operate for the benefit of the energy user.
As Robin Hood Energy enters a second year of operation its ambition is to support other councils across the UK into the energy market where they can make similar fuel cost reductions for their communities. The company has already supported Leeds city council in the set-up of its own energy company White Rose Energy. Robin Hood Energy is proud to be leading a growing movement of council run energy suppliers who are determined to put the energy customer back at the heart of energy supply.
Want to support public ownership of energy? Sign up here: https://robinhoodenergy.co.uk/