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Birmingham council plans to provide cut price energy

The council plans to enter the market as an energy provider to offer cheaper alternatives to residents

Council to offer new energy option for residents

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.

Read more

Norfolk residents urged to sign up to energy scheme

MPs criticise energy companies over fuel poverty concerns

  • James T Battersby

    I have a joint policy with my wife. Is the annual mileage the cars or the person? If my wife does 2000 ad I do 5000, what would I declare?

    • vic King

      7000 It the car you are insuring

  • James T Battersby

    Thanks for clearing that up. J

  • Maggie

    Just another way to rip the motorist off. Who does exactly the same mileage every year. How do l know what emergencies, what unplanned journeys l may need to do? If l change my job, travel to different places in order to do my job?
    Same old, same old then insurance is obligatory but worthless then!

    • Dennis Tate

      Hi Maggie, If you also change your job you also have to inform insurance company. Then they will charge you for admin work.
      Change of details. Usually £25 to £30. with most insurance companies.

  • Craiglea

    I would imagine that if you underestimate then the best strategy would be to phone the company when you are getting close to that figure and provide an up-to-date value. Presumably the company would then amend your policy but of course would charge an extra premium. On the other hand, if you had overestimated, I don’t suppose they would refund anything – or if they did then the admin fee would be equal to the reduction. One can’t win.

    • jesf1

      I had exactly that last summer. I had estimated 20,000 miles on my proposal, got close to it after 9 months so I called the insurer and just added another 5,000 miles. It was only £50 – so good value I reckon

  • AC

    It’s nonsense. Unless you’re on a specific limited mileage policy, I’ve never known a single insurer to ask for, let alone require proof of, your existing mileage at the start of a policy. So how are they even going to know whether you did 2,000, or 20,000 miles in a year?

    • Thomas Wootten

      MOT certs, the odometer, anything noted when you bought the car. Plenty of ways to find out roughly how much you drove. And remember, insurers don’t care about lies or errors when you take out your policy, they only care when there’s a claim, and then they can do all their digging to look for an excuse not to pay out.

  • GeePee

    This is only relevant with an insurance with a limited mileage clause where you have agreed a certain mileage, on a classic car policy, for example. Of course if you haven’t the wits to read a mileometer and divide the figure by the number of years its been running then the rest of the insurance documentation would be a real struggle from hell!!

  • Hellie

    The article does not explain how the insurance companies use the estimated mileage when there is a claim. If, for example, you estimate 10K miles per year and after 6 months make a claim after doing 9K miles, is it reasonable for the insurance company to extrapolate and say that you will do 18K (although you may be planning to put the car in the garage for the next 6 months)?

  • JayZS

    I wonder how accurate you need to be. I always overestimate by two or three thousand miles. But it I went over, and did a couple of hundred miles over my estimate one year, would that invalidate my insurance. Is there any leeway? If not then maybe insurers should ask motorists to give a monthly update on their mileage to date, rather than letting a miscalculation ( rather than a deliberate attempt to lie) of expected mileage to invalidate a policy.

  • Brian

    If i overestimate by 1000-2000 miles does that matter? I’m not bothered if it makes the premium a bit higher. Is there any penalty on a claim etc if the mileage has been overestimated?

  • Dave

    I had a 5000 mile limit and suddenly realised I was about to exceed it. Rang my broker and he asked me if 6500 would be enough. I said it would be and he amended my policy (Ageas it was last year) with no charge at all!