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London Power - Presentation

Minutes:

James Hardy, Head of Energy, London Power, GLA was present, and outlined a presentation to the Committee, copy interleaved

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·       Background – the Energy market has seen some noticeable changes, but is still not working for large numbers of people, especially Londoners

·       50000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales last year, attributable to cold homes, 4200 in London

·       Big 6 energy companies control 75% of the market, and 50% of people have never switched suppliers. London has the lowest level of switching

·       Low income households spend 8% of their income on energy, compared to 4% of other households

·       Many Londoners are on high tariffs

·       Energy Company Obligation is the Government’s key plank for reducing carbon emissions from home, and tackling fuel poverty

·       In addition to high levels of fuel poverty, and low levels of energy switching, London has low levels of energy efficiency, smart meter installation and installation of solar panels

·       London Power has partnered with Octopus Energy so that energy is fair and affordable with no exit fees, customers can move onto the cheapest, similar plan after 12 months, all electricity will be 100% renewable, there is carbon offsetting, world class customer service and reinvestment of profits

·       Outlined the London Power offer, and the savings that customers could achieve switching to London Power

·       Opportunities for London Power and Islington – Areas for action – Promote across the Borough, promote to social housing tenants to reduce the costs, use void services to give tenants a lower cost start and a fair deal, promote through fuel power and engagement activities to hit those hardest hit by excessive energy costs, promote to staff to get a green and fair deal

·       Noted that the pre-payment tariffs were at least 2% cheaper than the price cap, and that this is one of the cheapest tariffs on the market

·       Noted that 50% of consumers did not switch suppliers, and this was even more pronounced in London

·       A Member expressed view that she had not changed suppliers, as the process appeared difficult, and also enquired if London Power knew where their energy came from, and whether it was all green energy. London Power stated that they had an agreement with Octopus Energy that they could not make excess profits, and London Power had partnered with Octopus Energy, as they had a reputation for excellent customer service, and competitive pricing. London Power added that it was actually easy to switch providers, and that this could be done within a few minutes. London Power also stated that whilst they wanted all energy to be green, and Octopus were investing in solar and wind power, at present there needed to be a blend of gas/nuclear and carbon offsetting, and the Government were actually proposing to invest in more nuclear energy sources

·       In response to a question as to burning of rubbish for fuel, and the GLA position on this, it was stated that there were air quality concerns, and that this could be looked at

·       A Member referred to the fact that he was on a pre-payment meter, and that on looking at the website he had found it difficult to navigate in order to switch suppliers. London Power stated that they would look into this to ensure that switching is as easy as possible

·       Discussion took place as to the situation with voids, and it was stated that an interim solution had been found with the Green Energy Group, who were providing a service on a not for profit basis, and debts of up to £15 were being cleared, and the 90 days standing charge had been waived

·       London Power stated that they were working with 10 London Boroughs, and it was hoped that residents would sign up as Octopus are a competitive, good supplier of energy. London Power added that additional benefits were that it could give advice, and put residents in touch with other organisations, such as SHINE. Members were informed that the contact numbers of SHINE were 020 7527 5267 or a Freephone number is available 0800 953 2121

·       In response to a question in relation to the termination of the contract with Robin Hood Energy, it was stated that the Council had not signed a termination agreement with the company on legal advice, however Robin Hood Energy were now going into administration

·       Members were of the view that London Power appeared to be a good provider, and  the recommendation that they should be a company of choice for residents should be considered by the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the presentation be noted

 

The Chair thanked James Hardy for his presentation