Leeds City Council to look at creating energy services company

Leeds City Council has become the latest local authority to announce plans to go into the energy business.

At the meeting of the Executive Board at Civic Hall on 23 September, senior councillors will be asked to approve the process of looking to establish its own domestic energy services company (LESCo).

Under the proposals, the council would look to form a partnership with an existing energy provider, and would then offer competitive energy tariffs to customers. 

The scheme would also encourage residents to replace outdated pre-payment meters with the latest 'smart' pay-as-you-go alternatives. 

A number of local authorities have already set up energy services companies, including Nottingham City Council and Cheshire East Council.

"Setting up this company would be an innovative way of helping people pay less for their energy and save money with an offer which clearly comes from Leeds City Council,” said the Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, Cllr Richard Lewis. 

"It would be for anyone in Leeds but one of the aims would be to lower the number of households in the city in fuel poverty, as well as helping to protect the environment so we are very keen to make it happen.”

The council has recently carried out soft market testing, with the decision now to be made on advertising for a viable energy partner to form the company with. 

Should a suitable partner be found, the new energy services company could be operational from April 2016.

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