Newcastle Should Have Its Own Not-for-Profit Energy Company

Newcastle Should Have Its Own Not-for-Profit Energy Company

The Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party, Newcastle’s only independent community based political party, is calling for Newcastle City Council to follow the lead of Bristol and Nottingham and create its own energy company.

Following in the tradition of Charles Parsons’ Newcastle and District Electric Lighting Company, a Geordie energy company would be a fully licensed national energy supplier so available to all customers in England, Wales and Scotland including ex-pat Geordies; however like in Nottingham, it could offer an exclusive rate to citizens who live within the Newcastle City boundary. This would help the council to support local residents with balancing their household bills and make a step change in tackling fuel poverty in Newcastle.

In addition to the benefits for individual residents, the creation of an energy company wholly owned by the council would enable the council to reinvest the profits into services for local people. Over time, the council could invest in generating more energy on council owned buildings and create partnerships with schools to generate increasing amounts of electricity through solar panels on municipal and other public sector buildings.

Newcastle First spokesman for Lemington Ward, Jason Smith, who is one of five Newcastle First candidates standing in the local elections, said: “This really would be a win win for the council and for local people.

“The creation of a new energy supplier based here in Newcastle would create more jobs for Geordies, provide an income stream for the council that is not reliant on government handouts and can help us to tackle fuel poverty which blights the lives of many local residents.

“We hear a lot about the cuts to the income the council receives from the government and, at the same time, about energy companies making substantial profits. The council should start looking at ways to generate more of its own income.

“We are not campaigning for the council to take a massive leap in the dark – we simply want to copy an initiative that has worked successfully elsewhere. Newcastle did it before when Parsons launched the Newcastle and District Electric Lighting Company.

“The city that produced the “father of the railways” and miners safety lamp, built the world’s first turbo generators and had the first public place lit by the electric lightbulb now seems to lack ambition. It is time for Geordies to once again take control of our own destiny. That’s why we are fighting for Geordie Power.”

Update:

Chronicle article - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-council-urged-set-up-11226076

Response from the council - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-city-council-considering-scheme-11236133

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