Power to the people

Bath and North East Somerset District Council have just lost a partner from their ‘Our Power In B&NES’ scheme – which was launched to offer locally-generated renewable energy to residents – enabling them to buy from local community owned solar energy arrays for the first time.

The Council says it’s still keen to support green energy initiatives – despite what has happened.

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How the Bath Echo reported the Council’s original tie-in with Our Power back in June, 2018.

Bath Newseum follower, Edward Bradley sent the following email about the collapse of energy company Our Power which has ceased trading.

‘Small energy supplier Our Power has stopped trading as of 25th January 2019.

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Our Power announces its closure on line.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/ofgem-protects-customers-failed-supplier-our-power

The reason this matters is because Our Power were in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE).
Residents in Bath could choose Our Power and get their locally sourced electricity from community owned solar PV and hydro capacity.

See here https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/community/locally-sourced-energy-tariffs-banes-79346/ and https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/community/new-energy-tariffs-residents-banes-79073/ here for the original news articles last summer about the launch of them.

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How Ofgem announced it had protected the energy interests of Our Power’s 31,000 domestic customers.

Ofgem have today announced that Our Power customer will be automatically transferred to Utilita.
https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/ofgem-appoints-utilita-take-customers-our-power

In fact, it was the email and text message that I received today from Utilita which was the first I knew of Our Power’s demise as I hadn’t seen it elsewhere.

Bath & West Community Energy and Bath & North East Somerset Council haven’t yet announced which provider they’ll be partnering with in the future and who residents should choose to switch to if they want to continue with locally sourced solar and hydro electricity. The article on the BANES website advertising Our Power has recently been deleted however so I would assume they’ve seen the news.’

In reply to his concerns B&NES have issued the following statement:

“Bath & North East Somerset Council was disappointed to learn that Our Power has ceased trading. Approximately 50 customers in Bath and North East Somerset have been affected. Ofgem has switched all Our Power customers to Utilita.

Should customers wish to switch to a different supplier they are free to do so without penalty. For further information visit: www.ofgem.gov.uk/our-power

The council carried out due diligence when entering into the partnership and did not invest money into Our Power, so this hasn’t led to any direct cost to the council.

The council is keen to continue to support local green energy initiatives and will be exploring options with its local energy partner Bath & West Community Energy over the coming months. ”

See also https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47092066