Sheffield exploring energy company options

Sheffield City Council has joined a long list of local authorities looking at setting up an energy company to provide a better deal for residents.

A number of local energy companies have already been set up by councils across the country, including Robin Hood Energy, which was established by Nottingham Council last month.

Sheffield City Council has confirmed it is now looking at the different options, their costs, financial impacts and how they might operate.

This follows the opening of Sheffield Money this summer which the council helped set up to provide residents with an affordable alternative to high-cost credit and unscrupulous lenders.

“Some families in Sheffield struggle to make ends meet and have to make stark choices about whether to eat or heat their homes. This is appalling. It puts terrible pressure on people and only makes a bad situation worse,” said Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equality, Cllr Mazher Iqbal.

“We are already working hard to tackle this through the Big Sheffield Switch but more is needed. We want to get a better deal for people.

“We’re looking into how a local energy company might help tackle the issues of unfair prices and rising energy bills, through cheaper tariffs for all residents. We don’t yet know what the investigations will show but we want to work with our city partners on this and are committed to looking at all of the options. As a city, we opened Sheffield Money to help people escape the trap of unfair lending and we are bold in our approach to tackling poverty.”

An outline business case is being carried out by the council over the next few months. 

A more detailed investigation will be carried out next year depending on the findings.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues