Municipal Energy Companies

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2018 Energy Service Group Conference
27 February 2018

Conference notes the recent growth of municipal energy companies serving consumers across the UK, including recent announcements by the Scottish Government and the Mayor of London to create new energy companies.

Robin Hood Energy, founded by Nottingham City Council, has a mission to tackle local fuel poverty and is the most successful so far in attracting customers. However many of these municipal energy companies are being promoted as a cheaper alternative to the big six retail energy companies which employ thousands of UNISON members and recognise trade unions. Many are also just “white label” operations with other companies with a full energy license.

Conference further notes that these municipal energy companies are also currently losing many millions of pounds in trading losses which ultimately is public money and could be used elsewhere. The conference has long recognised that energy workers and local authorities have a massive role to play in energy efficiency measures to reduce both fuel poverty and winter deaths.

Conference further notes that as these municipal energy companies grow it is likely that this will have a negative impact on the job prospects of members.

Conference therefore calls on the Energy Service Group Executive to;

i) Investigate the growth of municipal energy companies and the financial robustness of them

ii) Understand better the challenges they might pose to UNISON’s energy membership

iii) Work with the Local Government Service Group to see what organising and recruitment potential exists within municipal energy companies and how we might grow membership and union power within them.