Energy company plan powers ahead

MOVES to set up an energy company – the Liverpool LECCy – to help cut fuel poverty in the city are set to progress.

The council’s cabinet is being asked to approve a tendering process for a licensed energy supplier to take forward the plans.

It is proposed that the new company would sell gas and electricity at a lower cost than other suppliers as it would operate on a not for profit basis and would have low overheads.

It would also look to replace the current costly pre-payment meter tariffs with Smart meter pay-as-you-go cheaper alternatives, which, as well as enabling householders to  manage their energy consumption better ,will also help cut CO2 emissions.

And the new company could also promote independent living as vulnerable residents, who have smart meters installed could, with their consent, have their energy use monitored. Alert systems would be set up so changes in energy use which may, for example, indicate that a fall has happened would be noted  and action taken by care agencies to help the resident.

Businesses could also be helped to switch to cheaper tariffs with little inconvenience.

It is envisaged that the new company could start operating by March next year.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “This is a really significant initiative for a huge number of people in the city. One in seven households live in fuel poverty and a third of all households- 70,000 – have to use costly prepayment meters.

“Far too many people live in dread of getting their gas and electricity bills –and it is the poorest residents who are hardest hit as they are the ones who have to use the most expensive meters.

“We have been liaising with other major cities such as Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol on this issue to come up with ways in which we can stop people falling further into poverty because of high energy costs.

“Setting up the Liverpool LECCy , owned and run for Liverpool people, will provide a realistic and practical way tens of thousands of people, will be able to cut their fuel bills.

“We are now looking for a partner to take this idea forward and are aiming to be up and running early next year.”

The cabinet will be asked to approve the tendering process at its meeting on 24 June.