Councils urged to switch suppliers as ‘spending £863m a year’ on energy

24 Apr 18

Councils in Britain have been urged to look beyond major energy firms as it is revealed they are paying more than £863m a year on energy bills.

Nine out of 10 local authorities in Britain are being supplied by one of the so-called ‘big six’ energy firms, according to rival energy company Bulb.

The firm analysed freedom of information requests responses from 67% of UK councils and also found the share of local authorities that source their energy from smaller suppliers is 3.57%.

Twenty per-cent of British households have switched to smaller suppliers to get a better deal, according to figures from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets.

Caitlin Burbridge, a community organiser with campaign group Citizens UK, 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.”

She added: ““Local authorities have an ability to set a strong precedent in their area in favour of fairer, cheaper, and more ethical energy choices.”

The Local Government Association has said: “The need for councils to ensure they are minimising costs and maximising benefits for their local communities through their energy procurement is ever more pressing; council funding has reduced drastically in recent years.

“Energy is one of the largest controllable overheads in many council buildings and there are many opportunities to make savings and generate income through energy demand management and energy generation.”

The ‘big six’ are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, ScottishPower and SSE.

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