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Why did the Council drop Bristol Energy?

Greens question how dropping Bristol Energy meets Council’s own social value priorities

The Green Group of councillors are calling on the Labour administration to explain the decision to stop using Bristol Energy. The Council owned company was set up as an alternative to the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, with the profits going straight back into Bristol to help local communities. But a Freedom of Information request has uncovered the news that British Gas rather than Bristol Energy has now been chosen to supply the city council. This is especially surprising given the Council’s commitments to promote the local economy and environmental sustainability through its own spending in the City.

Responding to the news, Leader of the Green Councillors, Eleanor Combley said:

“I am deeply saddened by the news that the Labour administration has reverted to using one of the big six energy providers. Just a few months ago Full Council voted through an updated policy on social value, committing to promote our local economy and environmental sustainability in the Council’s procurement rules. Value for money isn’t just about choosing what is cheapest, it’s also about investing in what is right for our local communities and our city.”  

“The Labour cabinet member for finance has said that the council is obliged to follow a competitive tendering process. This is true, but the council is also obliged to consider the social value of its contracts. I find it hard to believe that one of the “Big Six” energy companies is really a better option than using a company whose profits are ploughed back into Bristol’s local communities. I think we need to see the evidence.”

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