English council takes 50% stake in Scottish energy company
An English local authority has invested £18 million in return for a 50% stake in Scottish energy provider Together Energy to supply its residents with green electricity.
Earlier this year, Warrington Borough Council announced plans to become the first UK local authority to generate its own renewable electricity following investment in two new solar farms in York and Hull.
The council said it was attracted to the Clydebank-based company because of its unique industry business model which offers opportunities to young disadvantaged people, and its shared belief in disrupting the energy sector.
Together Energy, which offers low priced dual-energy tariffs up to a three year fixed term, was founded by Paul Richards, a former British Gas executive, in 2016. Since then the company has grown to record a £35 million turnover, employing 140 people, with a customer base in excess of 70,000 customers.
At the beginning of the year, the company was the first smaller supplier to be appointed by Ofgem to look after the customers of the failed Reading-based energy supplier, OneSelect.
A new board of directors will be created for Together Energy, alongside new jobs in Clydebank and an immediate 30 new jobs in Warrington, as the company embarks on its growth plans.
Paul Richards will remain chief executive and a new office will be established in Warrington.
Mr Richards said: “The team at Warrington Borough Council is both visionary and ambitious in its approach to sustainable energy and helping to futureproof community services through its carefully planned investments.
“This vision is shared by all of us within Together Energy where our approach to our values and staff has been significantly unique within the industry and we are extremely proud of what we have already achieved in just three years in business.
“Our combined strength will take us to the next level in our growth and deliver our ambitious plans to change the traditional energy model.”
Warrington Borough Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden added: “This is an investment that we’ve given careful consideration to over many months, but I’m pleased we’ve been able to agree a deal which will bring real benefits to the people of Warrington. It’s a good fit between a council which strives to put its residents at the heart of everything it does, and a company committed to helping our town prosper.
“Together Energy is a real living wage employer and is a champion of local community issues, offering employment and support to people who are out of work or without formal qualifications.
“Our investment will mean that we can genuinely tackle fuel poverty in the borough, provide employment opportunities and ensure we as a council continue to lead the charge against the climate emergency we all face.”