Social landlords create company to sell energy to tenants
An energy company is to be created by Scottish housing associations to sell power and heat back to tenants at cost effective rates.
The unprecedented move by the consortium of eight social landlords is in the final stages of gaining a licence from the regulator Ofgem and hopes to launch next year.
Called Our Power, the group represents 150,000 homes across Scotland and aims to buy energy wholesale saving tenants up to £100 a year on their usual bill for gas and electricity.
I believe we have got good mitigation in place and we have done our homework on this - Dawn Muspratt
Dawn Muspratt, project lead for Our Power, said: “We would buy on the wholesale market in the first instance, but we would also want to build up a renewable energy base so we could generate energy of our own.
“Long term we would want to be investing in solar, hydro and wind at scale. The ambition over time is to generate 100% of the energy we sell.”
Members of the stand-alone company won’t be required to provide finance but will look for investment from external investors.
It eventually plans to generate and sell power from renewable sources.
Nicholas Doyle, director of energy consultancy Adecoe, said: “Buying and selling energy is difficult to manage and get right. It’s something the social sector should be exploring - but they need to go in with their eyes open to the risk.’
Muspratt added: “I believe we have got good mitigation in place and we have done our homework on this.”
David Stewart, policy manager at the Scottish Association of Housing Associations, said: “The SFHA fully supports the Our Power project.
“With growing levels of fuel poverty, there could not be a better time for housing associations and co-operatives to develop their own energy supply company.
"We believe that Our Power can fulfil its key objectives of providing lower energy tariffs and better service to the associations’ tenants.
“There is also a real opportunity for Our Power to work to develop renewable energy using the financial and project management skills of its members to generate income and reduce carbon emissions.”
|Our Power coalition|
|Berwickshire Housing Association|
|Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association|
|Clyde Valley Housing Association|
|Grampian Housing Association|
|Kingdom Housing Association|
|Trust Housing Association|
|West Highland Housing Association|
|West of Scotland Housing Association|