Liverpool City Council has revealed plans to establish a not-for-profit energy company to cut energy bills, improve energy efficiency and invest in local green energy initiatives.
The announcement comes shortly after a similar pledge from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and follows a number of other city councils in England expressing an interest in public energy provision.
Provisionally named the ‘Liverpool LECCy’, the energy company will operate on a not-for-profit basis and undercut conventional electricity and gas suppliers.
According to research from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), public energy companies wholly owned by local authorities could provide a much-needed economic boost to regions outside of London.
They could also help to tackle fuel poverty by offering lower rates than conventional energy suppliers. According to recent data, one in seven households in Liverpool live in fuel poverty.
Liverpool mayor, Joe Anderson, said: “Cutting fuel bills is one of the most significant ways we can help provide real and lasting benefit to Liverpool people.
“I want us to do something practical to help tackle fuel poverty which is why we’re setting up this energy company - the Liverpool LECCy - which will be owned by and run for the people of the city, giving them a cheaper alternative energy provider.”
The Liverpool LECCy would also seek to replace pre-payment meters with ‘smart’ pay-as-you-go alternatives, helping residents to better manage their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
The company would also explore innovative ways of generating local energy, including potentially using the River Mersey to generate electricity.
Cllr Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Liverpool City Council, added: “We need to look at doing things in a different way and we are starting a process which will cut bills while finding ways of helping the environment.”
Heat and power
In a separate development, three NHS sites in Liverpool are set to be powered by energy efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plants after being granted funding by the NHS Carbon and Energy Fund, echoing a similar project taking place in Salford.
According to developer, ENGIE, the CHP plants will deliver annual energy savings of more than £1.2 million and reduce the carbon footprints of the sites by an average of 29 per cent by generating heat and energy simultaneously.