Wednesday, 04 March 2015

Council plans energy co-op to tackle fuel poverty

A local authority is looking into creating an energy co-operative which would provide cheap power for council tenants.

Through its procurement process, Tower Hamlets Council is calling on potential partners to come forward with proposals for creating a large scale domestic power purchasing co-op to help tenants across the borough.

The council said the co-op would be used to give tenants access to cheaper power and to cut down on fuel poverty in the area.

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: ‘I am a great supporter of the co-operative movement and believe that we can use it to bring about mutual benefit to the community.

‘I want to see if we can set up a co-operative in Tower Hamlets that coordinates the collective buying power for all our residents, giving them access to cheaper electricity and gas.

‘At a time when family budgets are being squeezed by rapid increases to living costs, this would help residents to keep their hard earned money in their pockets.’

Readers' comments (3)

  • F451

    But the co-op would still be reliant on the charging structures of the energy supply companies. What would be better would be for them to purchase directly from the energy producers, or even better become energy producers and so free the people from the cosy price fixing of the private sector.

    One of the hailed positives of privatisation was meant to be competition - yet over the course of a year the difference in charge from one private supplier to another is negligable.

    An argue reason for privatisation was that the public sector could not be as effdicient as the private sector - why then are some of our energy suppliers in fact foreign state run 'public sector' companies?

    All the Tories achieved is higher bills for the British and higher profits for companies no longer paying their majority of tax in Britain - a double whammy if ever there was one.

    This co-op idea could pave the way to a real people ownership of production and supply - if it does then all strength to them, and perhaps it may set an example that allows our mad politicians to restore the peoples' assets and wealth.

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  • F451

    I'm not sure how my 'd' in argued ended up in 'efficient', but such is life!

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  • can someone tell Lutfur Rahman of tower hamlets to go to the web site:

    A large regional Retail co-op has already established a energy buying Co-op and is recruiting across the UK. As its a co-op, its green, ethical and competitive. (the first supplier to reduce prices this winter But we dont see that in the papers.)

    Its been going for nearly a year, it has been very favourably received.
    but is still small.
    But because its part of a large regional Co-op it has the capital to do what Tower Hamlets might have problems with, at this point in time, which is buy power up front which is very expensive. most of the other Retail Co-ops are acting as its agents. But the financial and market constraints mean it can only grow slowly.
    Tower Hamlets would be better persuading its people to insulate their lofts and walls, that would reduce their bills by nearly 40% and contact the co-op to get their suppies.

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