Tag Archives: Bristol Energy

LABOUR TIP MONEY INTO ENERGY BLACK HOLE

Our favourite proposed Bristol City Council budget amendment came courtesy of Tory councillor, Graham Morris “Minor”. “Reduce investment in Energy Company,” by £250k he cooed and use the money to “resolve the perennial flooding problem of Scotland Lane.”

The road in Brislington has been closed for months and Morris claims that there’s a “£30k cost to the Council of closing, cleaning and reopening this important transport route” every time it floods. So far, so Tory. But it was council finance officers’ response to this that was the real eye-opener. “It is not clear how this would affect the company,” they explained.

Excuse me? We’ve invested millions in an energy reselling company – Bristol Energy – and nobody at the council has the foggiest idea what affect this money has had? Apparently not a problem for the Bristol Labour Group who still voted Minor’s amendment down.

Better money’s tipped into a murky black hole for PR purposes than solving an actual problem in the city then?

COUNCIL ENERGY FIRM ABOUT TO BELLYFLOP?

The smell of FAILURE hangs heavy in the air around BRISTOL ENERGY, Bristol City Council’s energy reselling business set-up at great expense with public money.

Despite the council’s best efforts to keep the financial performance of the year old company TOP SECRET, it’s widely known that the company’s original business plan has FAILED.

“The energy market is showing significant price volatility,” is the current form of words being deployed by council bosses for this deplorable state of affairs. While, behind CLOSED DOORS, large sums of our money are being conjured up and another business plan hastily cobbled together by a secret committee, safely hidden away from anyone who might call it like it really is.

We also understand that council bosses have been FORCED to set up an Audit and Remuneration Committee for the firm. Although many might say this kind of basic financial oversight committee should have been in place before the company began trading.

Strenuous efforts are also being made by the Mayor’s office to avoid consolidating the company accounts into the Council’s accounts for 2016/17. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the council, it’s standard accounting practice that their wholly-owned energy company’s accounts are PUBLISHED alongside the council’s in its annual reports. Hardly ideal if you’re trying to hide losses into six or, even, seven figures from the public!

Meanwhile, the architect of this UNDERPERFORMING SHAMBLES, council Service Manager, Bill Edrich, has been instructed by the Rev Rees to ensure an “orderly exit strategy” forms part of the company’s new business plan.

Watch this space.

ENERGY COMPANY TO BELLYFLOP?

BE2Are there more tough times ahead for Bristol City Council’s LOSS-MAKING electricity reselling business, BRISTOL ENERGY?

The private company, funded from our council tax, has already posted a £3M LOSS this year it doesn’t want you to know about. Meanwhile, total investment in the firm by Bristol City Council, although a closely guarded secret, is believed to top £9M. So will Bristol City Council ever see a return on this huge investment of our money?

Ovo is another local energy reseller that’s been running since 2009 and its business model is virtually identical to Bristol Energy’s. They both buy power wholesale off the ‘big six’ power companies who generate it and then try to sell it retail to customers for a profit. Ovo have just announced a £35M LOSS based on 400,000 CUSTOMERS. Bristol Energy has 80,000 CUSTOMERS.

Bristol Energy and Ovo both have the same problem: the cost of obtaining new customers. If you take apart the scant information available about Bristol Energy (their business plan is a closely guarded secret), it may well be COSTING THEM MORE to get customers than they will ever make in PROFIT from them in this low margin business.

Bristol Energy boss, Peter “HIGH PAY” Haigh pockets a six-figure salary for his troubles while claiming he will start making profits when Bristol Energy has “a large enough volume of customers”. However, Ovo with FIVE TIMES as many customers continues to run at a HUGE LOSS. What can Peter High Pay do that’s different?

But why should High Pay give a toss? He tops up his paltry six-figure salary from the council taxpayer with a LUCRATIVE DIRECTORSHIP at Energy Market Risk Ltd, consultants to the energy industry. Does Bristol Energy have a hope with High Pay at the helm? Does he even care while he’s spending other people’s money and significantly expanding his personal bank balance?

And why has Bristol City Council earmarked £7.5m of their capital funds to run this profitable ‘business’ over the next couple of years while they cut our public services?

ARE THEY PULLING OUR LEGACY?

“The establishment of the council’s energy company – Bristol Energy – will be one of the landmark achievements of Bristol’s year as Green Capital and one of its most significant legacies and that’s been recognised from way beyond Bristol,” blustered MAYOR NO-LONGER, George Ferguson, to any media that would listen in July 2015.

Although a somewhat lower key PR approach has been taken by Bristol City Council to the news this July that Bristol Energy – their wholly owned landmark achievement company – has made a LOSS of £3m already!

What a legacy! And you, dear taxpayer, will – of course – foot the bill.