Swansea Labour is driving the creation of a local not-for-profit energy supply company and are inviting businesses and householders to take part in a Swansea Council survey.
The energy company could cut Swansea’s gas and electric bills, but those businesses and householders have until Friday, August 24 to give their views on it.
Labour Cllr Andrea Lewis, the council’s cabinet member for homes and energy, said: “This company could bring significant benefits for our business community and local residents.
“However, the council will only set up the company if there’s local support so we’re eager for as many businesses and residents as possible to have their say. We’re writing to businesses to remind them of the fast-approaching deadline.”
A letter from the council to business leaders asks: “Are energy costs a concern to your business? If so, the council may have the solution. We are thinking about creating a company to offer local businesses lower-cost energy. It would cut your outgoings and would help fix the national energy market which the UK Government says is broken.”
Businesses and individuals with a view can tell the council with the three-minute online survey before the deadline.
Swansea business people to have publicly backed the survey include David Bellis, of The Millennium Group and Refining Dining Co, Alex Parr, of Wolfestone Holdings, and Simon Williams, of Storage Giant.
It has been supported by the Fuel Poverty Action campaign which fights to protect vulnerable residents living in cold homes and by Carole Morgan-Jones, director of the National Energy Action Cymru charity which works to protect such people.
The council’s proposal is to create a people-friendly, not-for-profit, energy services company based in the city. Local residents and organisations would be its key focus.
The socially responsible enterprise would help to address the challenge of high gas and electric charges faced by Swansea residents and the difficulty faced by local businesses in securing good energy deals.
It would be set up and be wholly owned by the council as an arm’s length enterprise at no cost to the taxpayer. It would be the first such council enterprise in Wales although a small number exist in England.
If the feedback from local businesses and the public is positive, a detailed business case will be drawn up for setting up the company. If viable, the company could launch within two years.
To join the consultation go to: www.bit.ly/ESCOsurvey