Hackney Council is planning to launch an energy company.
The council says it “will supply clean, affordable energy, generate our own renewable electricity, and plough profits back into the heart of our borough”.
Keen to address both fuel poverty and environmental concerns, the plan is to sell “price competitive renewable energy for customers both within and beyond the borders of Hackney”, according to the council’s advert for a project manager to lead the launch.
The advert indicates that Hackney aims to partner with a supplier rather than obtain its own supply licence. Neighbouring Islington, for example, white labels through Nottingham City Council’s Robin Hood Energy, which recently committed to supplying 100% renewable power.
Hackney is one of a number of councils that have pledged to move to 100% renewable electricity, and is implementing energy efficiency and renewables generation projects across its estate.
It has begun to investigate the feasibility of deploying ground and water source heat pumps in its parks to heat council-owned buildings and the borough is also home to what is thought to be the UK’s first energy trading community using blockchain.
While some municipal energy companies launched in recent years have received negative press around cost, resource and risk, others have started to generate a trade surplus.
Nottingham, for example, was in the black in the third year of trading. The council also operates a commercial energy services company that generates income for frontline services by deploying generation, efficiency and storage solutions as a commercial entity.
Meanwhile, a group of local authorities in the South West are collaborating to create a £100m fund to invest in energy projects.