About Us

 

Switched On London is campaigning for a publicly owned energy company that London can be proud of. We want an affordable, democratic and environmentally sustainable alternative to the Big Six.

 

THE PROBLEM

Our fuel bills are out of control, leaving us with cold homes and struggling to make ends meet. But the profits of the Big Six energy companies keep on sky-rocketing.

Meanwhile, thousands of Londoners die from air pollution each year. And while other major European cities are making bold commitments to renewable energy, London is lagging behind on climate change.

We don’t have to accept profiteering, poverty and pollution. There is an alternative.

 

THE SOLUTION

We’re calling on the Greater London Authority – in collaboration with London boroughs – to set up a new, people-powered energy company.

We want an energy company that cuts bills and cuts polluting carbon emissions. A company under public ownership, selling energy for the common good, not for profit. A company with social justice, clean energy and democracy at its core.

 

Social justice

No one should go without warm homes and hot meals. Private companies should not be able to profit from our struggle to make ends meet.

  • We want an energy company that offers fair, affordable prices, based on a progressive pricing system.
  • We want an energy company that does not cut-off access to those who can’t pay and that does not install unwanted prepayment meters.
  • We want an energy company that re-invests revenues in measures to address fuel poverty and the cost of living crisis, particularly prioritising ambitious investment in household energy efficiency.
  • We want an energy company that treats its workers fairly, meaning paying at least a London Living Wage, good terms and conditions, secure, unionised and non-precarious work.

 

Clean Energy

London is behind schedule on meetings its renewables targets. But London must show leadership, committing to ambitious new investment in new clean technology fit for the 21st century.

  • We want a company that commits ambitious public investment in new renewable energy generating capacity (we are initiating research into an appropriate specific investment target). A significant portion should be invested in renewable capacity inside London.
  • The GLA and London local authorities must divest their pension funds from fossil fuels, and re-invest this money to fund the new renewable capacity we need. Other public funding sources for new renewable investment to be explored are municipal bonds and borrowing.
  • We want an energy company that aims to sell 100% renewable energy as soon as feasibly possible.

 

Democracy 

We want a publicly owned alternative to the Big Six that is run according to the needs of energy users and workers, not for private gain. But we can do better than a return to top-down control.

  • We want a company fully owned by London public bodies (without any private partners) but controlled by people directly.
  • To do this, we want to integrate a range of democratic mechanisms, including:
    • A board of directors made up of: 1/3rd London public officials; 1/3rd energy company employees elected democratically by the whole energy company workforce; 1/3rd ordinary London residents, elected democratically with all London residents and all non-London customers given a vote. Board membership must guarantee at least 50% representation of women.
    • Annual open assemblies in every London borough, where representatives of the company have to answer questions and take input and advice.
    • The creation of an online democratic forum where people can discuss and influence the company’s operations, including through public petitions.
    • An obligation for the board to discuss public petitions, if backed by 1% or more of London’s population.
    • An obligation for an online referendum on a proposal, if backed by 5% of London’s population.
    • 100% transparency in all operations.
    • These democratic measures apply to all London residents, regardless of citizenship/nationality status.