Council considers bulk buy energy scheme

First published in Countywide

A COUNTY-WIDE bulk buying scheme could be set up in a bid to drive down rising energy prices.

Council leaders hope they can secure a cheaper deal for domestic electricity and gas customers if enough sign up with energy firms.

A Cherwell District Council report says the council should “support and promote” the scheme possibly using firm iChoosr as an intermediary.

It says: “There is likely to be a positive impact economically for those residents who sign up to the scheme and receive a more competitive, lower price for their energy.”

The Government announced £5m in funding for such “collective energy” schemes in September in a bid to tackle fuel poverty.

More than 1,600 people have joined a pilot scheme being run by South Lakeland District Council in Cumbria.

Lead council member for clean and green Nigel Morris said: “Even if we got ten per cent of Cherwell homes signed up, that would be 5,000 or 6,000, so it would be a beneficial bargaining tool.

“Fuel poverty is something that is very much in the forefront of people’s minds.”

Comments (3)

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8:26am Tue 13 Nov 12

snert says...

I'm so glad my wages haven't gone up in line with inflation these last 8 years.
I'm so glad my wages haven't gone up in line with inflation these last 8 years. snert
  • Score: 0

9:34am Tue 13 Nov 12

Gunslinger says...

'County Wide' or just Cherwell?

Another bit of poor reporting by the OM or part of a devious plan for Banbury to take over the world?
'County Wide' or just Cherwell? Another bit of poor reporting by the OM or part of a devious plan for Banbury to take over the world? Gunslinger
  • Score: 0

11:08am Tue 13 Nov 12

Man on the Green says...

So long as the scheme is made inclusive, to enable those on low incomes access to it (as they are more likely to face fuel poverty), I would strongly support such a move, which harks back to the very best of the old cooperative and mutual societies that genuinely used their market position for local gain and public advantage. However, as well as electricity and gas, the County (and the Districts acting together) should also be looking at the bulk buying of heating oil for those many residents who don't have direct gas supplies, for example. This is exactly the sort of measure that fits in with any reasonable vision of the 'big society', and efforts should be made to get local people with the necessary skills and knowledge to give their time and abilities for free to promote the scheme. What it mustn't end up being is a way of guaranteeing business to councillors' cronies, as so often happens, and proper safeguards will need to be set in place. The sort of scandal that has so grotesquely marred West Oxfordshire District Council (also under Mr Neudegg's far from benign guidance), with the fiddling of their accounts to cover up serious misconduct (happily discovered by the District Auditor - though the full story of the shennanigans that led to the illicit payment remains suppressed) has cast a long shadow over public confidence in the accountability and integrity of our council leaders, and council taxpayers will insist on independent oversight if a scheme of this nature is to gain public trust and "buy-in". To put it simply, the evidence shows that councillors cannot be trusted to 'police' themselves, and have perverted the 'scrutiny' function so far from its original purpose that it no longer does the job it was intended to do.

Moreover, all too many of Cherwell's recent initiatives (as with the reform of blue badge parking) have simply been ill-disguised money spinning measures that have left the disadvantaged significantly worse off and dislocated from the places they need to stop (not where the self-interested petty functionaries from Mr Neudegg down want them to park - i.e. away from the areas reserved for their business chums - who no doubt show their support in the traditional manner).

In conclusion, with those necessary caveats, I would urge council officers from the districts and county to develop a workable and transparent model to be quickly put out for public consultation, with a call for suitably vetted volunteers to form a Steering Committee structure free of commercial influence peddling by councillors, and to take this idea forward ASAP.
So long as the scheme is made inclusive, to enable those on low incomes access to it (as they are more likely to face fuel poverty), I would strongly support such a move, which harks back to the very best of the old cooperative and mutual societies that genuinely used their market position for local gain and public advantage. However, as well as electricity and gas, the County (and the Districts acting together) should also be looking at the bulk buying of heating oil for those many residents who don't have direct gas supplies, for example. This is exactly the sort of measure that fits in with any reasonable vision of the 'big society', and efforts should be made to get local people with the necessary skills and knowledge to give their time and abilities for free to promote the scheme. What it mustn't end up being is a way of guaranteeing business to councillors' cronies, as so often happens, and proper safeguards will need to be set in place. The sort of scandal that has so grotesquely marred West Oxfordshire District Council (also under Mr Neudegg's far from benign guidance), with the fiddling of their accounts to cover up serious misconduct (happily discovered by the District Auditor - though the full story of the shennanigans that led to the illicit payment remains suppressed) has cast a long shadow over public confidence in the accountability and integrity of our council leaders, and council taxpayers will insist on independent oversight if a scheme of this nature is to gain public trust and "buy-in". To put it simply, the evidence shows that councillors cannot be trusted to 'police' themselves, and have perverted the 'scrutiny' function so far from its original purpose that it no longer does the job it was intended to do. Moreover, all too many of Cherwell's recent initiatives (as with the reform of blue badge parking) have simply been ill-disguised money spinning measures that have left the disadvantaged significantly worse off and dislocated from the places they need to stop (not where the self-interested petty functionaries from Mr Neudegg down want them to park - i.e. away from the areas reserved for their business chums - who no doubt show their support in the traditional manner). In conclusion, with those necessary caveats, I would urge council officers from the districts and county to develop a workable and transparent model to be quickly put out for public consultation, with a call for suitably vetted volunteers to form a Steering Committee structure free of commercial influence peddling by councillors, and to take this idea forward ASAP. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

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