Plymouth pairs with Ovo in new energy launch

Caitlin Morrison
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THE FIRST joint venture between Ovo Energy and a local council was ann­oun­ced at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Glasgow yesterday, where it was revealed that Plymouth City Council had partnered with Ovo to form Plymouth Energy Community.

The company was formed as part of Ovo’s scheme aimed at turning groups such as local councils or housing associations into power companies. It was first introduced in April.

The approach allows organisations to use Ovo’s systems to sell energy to local residents, in return for three per cent of wholesale costs.

Reg Platt, senior partnerships manager at Ovo, told City A.M. that the initiative was a good way to tackle the “collapsing trust in the energy industry”.

He added: “We are being very transparent with our costs. Plymouth can decide whether it wants to generate any revenue, or if it wants to keep prices as low as possible. We believe they will be able to be at least as cheap as we are.”

Platt stated that Ovo was in talks with more than 200 other organisations throughout the country, and said the company hoped to announce another partnership before the end of the year.

Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, told the conference he welcomed the new initiative, commenting: “Community energy is one of the best ways of fostering trust and competition in the energy market.

“Ovo Energy and Plymouth Energy Community are doing exactly what government is asking businesses to deliver.”

Alistair Macpherson, Plymouth Energy Community chief executive, said the new firm had launched services relating to fuel debt, energy switching, home insulation and renewables, and that bespoke tariffs were “logically the next step”. He added: “We are confident that we could potentially save Plymouth residents well in excess of £1m per year.”