Britain’s first council-owned energy supplier lost almost £8 million last year but has said it is on course to break even after signing up almost 120,000 customers including Jeremy Corbyn. Robin Hood Energy was launched in 2015 by Nottingham city council as a not-for-profit supplier to help tackle fuel poverty. It has since expanded to run suppliers for six other councils including Leccy in Liverpool and Angelic Energy in Islington, north London, where the Labour leader is a customer. The company reported a £2.5 million loss in its first year of trading and losses deepened to £7.6 million in the year to March 2017. However, Steve Battlemuch, the company’s chairman, said it expected to break even in the year to March 2018, which he described as an “incredible success story”. Only 10 per cent of Robin Hood Energy’s 118,000 household customers live in Nottingham. Until it covers its costs the venture, which is backed by Nottingham council taxpayers, is effectively subsidising the supply of energy to other households around the country. It claims on its website to offer “the best possible prices at all times”. Analysis for The Times by Uswitch shows that Robin Hood Energy’s cheapest tariff for a household in Nottingham is £124 a year more expensive than the best deal in the market. In total, 24 cheaper deals are available to customers in the region, the price comparison website’s figures show, including one from Eon, a big six supplier. However, Robin Hood Energy’s tariffs still offer substantial savings for most households on the standard variable tariffs of the big six, which average £1,131 a year.
The Times 15th Jan 2018 read more »