Town Hall moves ahead with first steps of publicly-owned energy company

Cllr Jon Burke. Photograph: Hackney Citizen.

Hackney Council took another step towards the formation of its publicly-owned energy company this week.

The Town Hall’s top councillors approved plans to partner up with a supplier whose energy the council would repackage under its own branding while recruiting customers itself under a so-called ‘white label’ arrangement.

Hackney aims to recruit at least 10,000 customers, which Cllr Jon Burke (Lab, Woodberry Down) cabinet member for energy, sustainability and community services, hopes will bring in an income of £120,000, recouping the Town Hall’s outlay within two years.

Cllr Jon Burke (Lab, Woodberry Down), cabinet member for energy, sustainability and community services, said: “”If we believe that there is a climate emergency, then we as an administration need to respond as if there is in very real and practical ways. The time for deeds, not words, is well upon us by now.

“I’m particularly excited to deliver a publicly owned energy company, but also an energy company that we see as being part of a catalyst for the transformation of an energy system away from one run by fossil fuels.

“While the company’s only one element of a much broader radical programme of decarbonisation that we are undertaking, it’s arguably the most exciting element given the extent to which it involves the participation of the public, either as customers of the forthcoming energy company or as recipients of any social dividend that surplus revenue of the company creates.”

The Town Hall plans to move forward with plans for generating energy within the borough once the company becoming financially self-sufficient in the second year of operation.

Hackney’s energy company will also be developing measures to cover up to 50 per cent of Hackney’s council-owned residential roof space in solar panels, and is part of the Town Hall’s commitment to be powered by 100 per cent clean energy by 2050.