North Ayrshire Council to create its own local energy tariffs

fuel povertyNorth Ayrshire Council is to take forward plans to create its own local energy tariffs in a bid to reduce fuel poverty across the region.

Known as an ‘Energy White Label’, the initiative will see the local authority form a partnership with a gas and electricity supplier allowing greater control of the prices available to customers across North Ayrshire.

‘White Labels’ have already proved particularly successful in England as they give councils an opportunity to influence tariffs and engage with customers who may struggle with their energy bills.

The creation of a White Label should bring further opportunities to deploy smart meters in houses across North Ayrshire and allows greater scope to move people away from pre-payment meters - the least cost effective way of paying for utilities.

Councillors at a meeting of North Ayrshire’s Cabinet yesterday approved the plans allowing the council to begin speaking with suppliers to see if there is a willingness to support and meet its objectives.

Craig Hatton, executive director (place), said: “This has the potential to be a huge and positive development in our battle to get rid of fuel poverty in North Ayrshire.

“The markets for domestic electricity and gas supply have become increasingly dominated by a small number of large suppliers. Ingrained pricing structures often lead to high tariffs for those who can least afford them.

“But, in recent years, new smaller suppliers have entered the market some of whom retail energy from renewable sources or operate on a not-for-profit basis. We want to try and capitalise on this and make the market in North Ayrshire much more competitive and affordable.”

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