Scottish housing providers turn energy supplier to tackle fuel poverty

Thirty five housing associations and local authorities have formed an independent energy supply company to supply heat and power to tenants in 200,000 homes in Scotland, cutting energy bills by up to 10%. The company is set to be the first in the UK operating on a non-profit distributing basis.

Our Power Energy, a subsidiary of Our Power Community Benefit Society, will enter the market at the end of 2015 as an Ofgem licensed supplier of gas and electricity to provide lower cost energy to the tenants and communities of its member organisations.

The living wage employer is backed by £2.5m from the Scottish government and another £1m from Social Investment Scotland, both in the form of repayable loans. In the future, Our Power hopes to develop renewable energy projects as part of its business for the benefit of local communities.

Scottish government social justice secretary Alex Neil said: “This ground breaking company will make a real difference to tens of thousands of low income households who are currently disadvantaged in the energy market and struggling to pay their bills.”

Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland said: “Fuel poverty is a major issue for many households throughout Scotland. However, by removing profit from the equation, Our Power offers a new way of tackling this problem.

“Over the next five years Our Power will help many disadvantaged families reduce their energy bills and stay warm.”

A full list of the 35 members is available here.

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