Publicly Owned Energy Company - call for views

We want your views on the merits or otherwise of a Scottish publicly owned energy company (POEC).

Background

In its 2017 consultation on the draft Scottish Energy Strategy, the Scottish Government sought views on the potential role and remit of a POEC to help the growth of local and community projects. Later that year it made a commitment to establish a not-for-profit POEC to supply energy to consumers at as close to cost price as possible. In March of this year a strategic outline case was published, setting out a series of operating models for providing competitively priced energy and helping to alleviate fuel poverty. 

Research

As part of the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee’s scrutiny of energy policy, a research paper/scoping note on the topic was commissioned by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) on behalf of the Committee. The paper, published alongside this call for views, reviewed the evidence on establishing a POEC as well as looking more widely at what the purpose and model of such a body could be. It suggested four overarching objectives that a Scottish POEC could have—

  • Creating new energy infrastructure platforms
  • Accelerating wider energy system transformation
  • Increasing engagement and participation in the energy system
  • Reducing costs to consumers

The paper concludes that a Scottish POEC can deliver on a number of these objectives.

Questions

The Committee is keen to hear your responses to the following questions – questions informed by that research undertaken by the Centre for Energy Policy – or any other thoughts on the matter—

What are your general views on the idea of a Scottish publicly owned energy company (POEC)?

What role should it fulfil and how? 

What are the key challenges that the POEC should address?

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?

How might the POEC be designed to promote objectives and functions beyond the retail of gas and electricity (e.g. supporting investment and innovation in new technologies and infrastructure)? What benefits are there to having wider objectives? 

What governance arrangements should a Scottish POEC have?  Who should it be accountable to e.g. Parliament?

Should legislation be required to underpin the creation of a POEC?

How to submit your views

Please see our policy on how we treat the information you send us

The call for written views will close on Thursday 13 September.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

Please use the template provided to format your submission. This includes the Data Protection Form. Please complete this form and send it in with your submission. 

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee.

Written responses should be sent electronically, in the template format to the following address: [email protected] 

Ideally they should be no more than four sides of A4.

If you cannot submit electronically you may send in a hard copy written submission. If you are sending in a hard copy submission please print off and include a copy of the Data Protection Form.  Please send them to:

Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee
Room T3.40
Scottish Parliament
Holyrood
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP


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