An additional £2mn has been invested in Bristol Energy by the company’s owner Bristol City Council. This takes the council’s total investment to around £27mn, according to a report published by BBC News on Friday 3 August.
The supplier was established in 2016, with an aim to reinvest its profits back into the local community. However, it is not expected to make a profit until 2021 – two years later than initially expected. Earlier this year, Bristol Energy lost its contract to supply energy to the council after being “marginally undercut” by British Gas. Managing Director of Bristol Energy Peter Haigh said: “This was a planned investment from the council, to help us give the fairest possible deal we can to our customers and support us as we grow. All investment will be paid back with interest.”
Bristol Energy aims to provide the energy it produces at low cost and from ethical sources to people across the UK. In a partnership with GENeco formed in April earlier this year, the company announced plans to roll-out gas produced from human waste. The alternative-gas solution works by converting sewage from local homes into a sludge, which can then be submitted to the process of anaerobic digestion to create biogas. Once cleaned and converted to match a composition similar to that of methane, the gas will be supplied as part of Bristol Energy’s ‘My Green Plus tariff’ which all provides 100% renewable electricity.
Initiatives like this are why Bristol Energy was brought forward by Bristol Council and exactly what consumers want to see. If it’s to be successful in entering profit zone by 2021, the publicly funded venture will need to encourage many more consumers to get on board with the company. Bristol City Council are evidently of the mindset that this is possible, based on their continued support and funding of the highly scrutinised establishment.