PRESS RELEASE: Revealed – Boris Johnson’s secret energy partnership with Npower

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Revealed: Boris Johnson’s secret energy partnership with Npower

Contact: Emma Hughes 07801140192
info@switchedonlondon.org.uk
www.switchedonlondon.org.uk
@SwitchedOnLDN

A source within the Greater London Authority (GLA) has revealed that Boris Johnson’s supposedly innovative public energy scheme is in fact a private partnership with one of the Big Six energy suppliers – controversial German utility RWE nPower. Johnson’s energy scheme, announced in 2013, will see London partner with a previously unknown third party to supply energy to large consumers such as TfL. [1] That partner has now been revealed to be RWE nPower. This information has been disclosed by new campaign coalition Switched On London, who are calling on the GLA to set up a new fully licensed public energy utility as a people’s alternative to the Big Six.

The Mayor has previously attempted to bill this as innovative public leadership. [2] But the leaked information reveals that nPower, a Big Six energy company, will be profiting from and controlling this new energy deal. It is a bitter blow for London residents who already face rising fuel bills and increasing profits thanks to the large utility companies, like nPower. [3]

In contrast to Johnson’s controversial scheme a new campaign coalition, Switched on London [4], is demanding mayoral candidates include a commitment to creating a fully licensed public owned energy utility in their campaign manifestos. Switched On London’s proposal comes on the back of a wave of non-profit municipal energy initiatives sweeping across Britain. In recent months public bodies in Bristol and Nottingham have set up their own fully licensed energy supply companies. [5] This leaves Johnson’s ‘flagship’ License Lite scheme outdated before it has even been launched. Johnson’s scheme lacks a serious renewables commitment and denies Londoners control over their own energy company.

Launched today, Switched on London is backed by a coalition of community organisations, trade unions and NGOs including Fuel Poverty Action, UNISON and the New Economics Foundation. Switched on London’s proposals call for fair and affordable prices, ambitious investment in new clean energy sources and a range of democratic measures that would give ordinary Londoners control. These democratic measures include elected board-members, open assemblies across the city and the possibility for public referenda on important decisions.

This week, residents of the Myatts Field South estate in Brixton have been in court facing injunctions served by Lambeth Council to force residents onto expensive new boilers, which will lead to high bills. Residents on the neighbouring Myatts Field North estate have been locked into unwanted and expensive 40 year contracts with E.ON through a new communal heating system. The cases are typical as ordinary Londoners are shut out of energy decisions that risk higher bills and fuel poverty. [6]

A London public energy company could bulk buy energy and generate its own by siting solar on GLA property, council buildings and housing association stock – lowering bills for Londoners. The GLA currently owns £234 million in fossil pension funds, money which could be reinvested in their own public energy company.

Jo Ram, Switched on London:
“From expensive heating systems forced onto Brixton estates to Boris’s back-room deals with nPower, hard-up Londoners are getting ripped off by dodgy deals with profiteering energy companies. Switched On London is calling on the GLA to introduce a people’s alternative: a publicly owned, democratic and non-profit energy company that London can be proud of. A company that cuts fuel bills and cuts polluting carbon emissions. A company controlled by ordinary Londoners, not cash-hungry business executives.”

NOTES:

[1] In 2013, Boris Johnson announced London’s intention to set up a License Lite energy supply company: a partnership with a third-party supplier designed to supply energy to large consumers such as TfL. While the Mayor has billed the scheme as an innovative public sector alternative, sources from inside the GLA have confirmed that the scheme will be partnering with RWE nPower.

[2] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/391a3414-8bf4-11e2-8fcf-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3tBtE9rKP

[3] nPower’s tax affairs, customer service and profit-margins have proved highly controversial in recent years.

[4] ] Switched On London is a new campaign coalition calling on the GLA – in collaboration with London boroughs – to create a new public energy company as a people’s alternative to the Big Six.

Switched On London is supported by: Fuel Poverty Action, Platform, Energy Democracy Project, UNISON, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), New Economics Foundation, Disabled People Against Cuts, Global Justice Now, We Own It, Community Reinvest, UK Uncut and Debt Resistance UK.

Find out more at www.switchedonlondon.org.uk

[5]
https://www.robinhoodenergy.co.uk/
https://bristol-energy.co.uk/

[6] http://www.standard.co.uk/business/on-the-money-campaigners-battle-boris-johnson-and-local-councils-on-unfair-energy-deals-a3132291.html

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