The local authority is the largest in Europe and its Labour leaders believe that its £3 billion turnover means it will be able to source its own energy direct from wholesalers, allowing it to set competitive prices.
It’s hoped this will lower fuel poverty and allow Birmingham residents a new option when it comes to switching.
New scheme can lower fuel bills
The council is also hoping to install energy generators in the city to further raise funds and cut its own bills. These would be in the mould of the combined heat and power plants already installed at the International Convention Centre and Library of Birmingham, which are used to power nearby buildings.
Other methods that councillors plan to use include taking advantage of energy from waste incineration plants and solar panels, as well as other sources.
It is believed that this move will save the council more than £750,000 every year on the power it uses to run its own buildings, as well as offering residents cheaper bills.
The Birmingham Mail pointed out that this would not be the first time in history the city has undertaken such a mammoth task. In the Victorian era, Birmingham ran its own gas and water companies.
Birmingham ‘has impressive track record’
Sir Albert Bore, leader of the council, said that the city has a good track record with schemes that help residents. He gave the example of initiatives under which homes in Birmingham were fitted with insulation and district power programmes designed to cut bills.
He said the new scheme would be important on two fronts. On one hand, it allows the city control over the services provided within it, while it also gives residents a new level of choice they have not had in the past.
“Birmingham in previous centuries built its local electricity and gas supply systems and built the Elan Valley to supply water to our city,” Sir Albert said.
‘‘In the 21st century we need more local control over energy and we will aim to set up an Energy Services Company that will generate energy for local consumption from the city’s waste, its woodland management, from solar installations and also ensure that more efficient district energy systems are installed.”
At the moment, the plans are still in the early stages, and were outlined as part of a proposal to see the local authority make £60 million worth of savings per year.
Sir Albert concluded that it will be a fantastic way for both businesses and consumers alike to make sizeable savings. He added that profits could then be ploughed back into essential services.