H&F Council’s energy bill rises to £4.3 million a year – could challenger firms provide a cheaper and greener deal?

Bulb, an energy supplier that uses 100 per cent renewable electricity, has put in freedom of information requests to local authorities – which suggests many are failing to shop around for greener and cheaper alternatives by switching to cheaper challenger companies.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council uses Npower and Total Gas – both very large firms. Last year I reported that the Council told me its energy bill has increased to £3.55 million annually – and has refused to provide the transparency of public smart metering.

The situation was seem to have got worse since then. In their response to Bulb the Council says it’s energy bill is now £4.3 million a year. Divided by the number of residential properties in the borough – 82,390 – that comes to £52.38 a year. That is one of the highest bills in London.

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, which is building a people-powered energy campaign to tackle fuel poverty 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.”

I have asked if the Council offered challenger firms the chance to see if they could provide a better deal.

3 thoughts on “H&F Council’s energy bill rises to £4.3 million a year – could challenger firms provide a cheaper and greener deal?

  1. If you want cheaper energy you need a complete change in energy policy away from subsidising expensive so-called green alternatives. It is of course a complete fallacy to suggest that purchasing from one supplier rather than another has any substantive impact at all on the physical supply to Hammersmith. Small suppliers are subsidised by other bill payers because they are exempted from paying the full whack of green subsidies. This does not make them more competitive in a real sense. If they no longer qualify for exemption, suddenly their costs increase: this often triggers bankruptcy.

  2. It’s also a unhelpful reply. By not splitting out into separate gas and energy usage, we are prevented from doing the most basic and obvious cost check – what are we paying for a kWh of gas or electricity?

    It is this obtuse opacity alone that makes me suspect we could probably be doing better.

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