Feasibility of a publicly owned energy company to be considered by a Holyrood committee

10.07.2018

Views on the feasibility of a not-for-profit, publicly owned energy company are being sought by a Holyrood committee.

The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee is inviting the public and stakeholders to give their views on options for a Publicly-Owned Energy Company (POEC) and what role it could take.

Issues being considered include whether a POEC will reduce costs for consumers, how it can promote green issues and energy efficiency and how it can support local and community projects, while working to combat fuel poverty. A household is defined as being in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of household income to maintain an adequate heating regime.

Gordon Lindhurst MSP, Convener of the Economy, Jobs and fair Work Committee said:

“We are examining the feasibility of a Publicly-Owned Energy Company in Scotland, and we want to hear your views on the matter. Some of the considerations include whether it can help tackle fuel poverty, and what role it would play in supporting new technology in sustainable energy and in contributing to community projects.

“There are a number of not-for-profit energy companies in existence in the UK and further afield, and we will be looking at how they operate and deliver on the core objective of providing competitively priced energy, and how this fits in with the needs of the country.”

Members of the public and stakeholders will have the chance to fill in a survey, with questions that will include:

  • What are your general views on the idea of a Scottish publicly owned energy company (POEC) and what role should it fulfil?
  • How might a Scottish energy supply company work best to support the growth of local and community projects, and fuel poverty reduction?
  • How can the POEC be best designed to align with wider Scottish energy policy objectives, and to avoid potential policy conflicts?
  • Should a new Scottish POEC be more than solely a licensed energy supply company? Should it have a direct role in energy generation?

The deadline for the call for views is 13 September 2018, and you can find further details here.

Background

In October 2017, the Scottish Government made a commitment to establish a not-for-profit, publicly owned energy company to supply energy to consumers at as close to cost price as possible.

The Scottish Government has indicated that it will consult on the POEC later in the year, and the Committee will submit its findings following the call for views and an evidence session in October.

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