Earlier today I spoke at the launch of Tower Hamlets Energy – Community Power (T.H. E Community Power). We are asking residents to express their interest in switching their energy supplier to access cheaper energy in the future through Tower Hamlets Energy. When at least 5,000 residents have signed up the council will go to auction to get the best energy deal for residents.
Schemes like this have seen impressive reductions in energy bills. Which’s Big Switch saved customers on average £123 on their bills and similar schemes in Europe have seen customers saving 20% on their bills. With sharp increases in energy prices predicted, this is a timely initiative. It also brings other, less obvious benefits.
An increasing number of residents who are struggling with debts are becoming more financially and socially vulnerable. This kind of scheme like this help challenge that sense of isolation. Being involved in a co-op demonstrates that by coming together, as a community and as customers, we can benefit ourselves, the wider community, and most importantly, the most vulnerable.
Tower Hamlets has had a long and proud history of collectivism and community action.From rate strikes in 1921, to the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, to the establishment of one of the first Credit Unions in the region. With that tradition behind us it feels fitting that we are the first local authority to implement such a scheme.
Photo left to right: Cllr Kabir Ahmed, Cllr Abdul Asad, Cllr Alibor Choudury, Cllr Stephanie Eaton, London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, Mayor Lutfur Rahman, Bruce Laidlaw (ARUP).