9.00am, Monday 10 NOVEMBER 2014, Hastings: OVO Energy today announced its second ‘OVO Communities’ partnership, with Community Energy South, as part of its ground-breaking plan to democratise the energy market. The news follows just one month after OVO revealed plans for its first partnership with Plymouth Energy Community.
OVO Communities is an ‘out of the box’ solution for communities which want to cut out the middle man and become an energy company themselves – from supply and generation, to smart technology and energy efficiency. OVO’s aim is to set up 500 community energy supplier partnerships across the country, serving a million customers.
At a breakfast event supported and attended by the Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd MP, Community Energy South announced their partnership with OVO. In Spring 2015 Community Energy South will launch ‘The Sussex Energy Tariff’ which is expected to be one of the first community energy tariffs in the UK and could save residents up to £200 a year off their energy bills. With the ambition to sign up thousands of customers a year, this could create savings of over £2m a year.
Community Energy South’s ambition is to supply an affordable energy tariff to its local residents as well as a 100% green tariff to stimulate local investment in renewable technologies. This is supported by Your Energy Sussex, the partnership of Sussex local authorities that is working with residents and businesses to promote energy saving and renewable energy. Your Energy Sussex and Community Energy South will work together to promote the Sussex Energy Tariff.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO, OVO said;
“We launched OVO Communities because we really believed the UK energy market was ripe for big changes. With this second partnership, the scale and pace of what we can deliver is becoming clear. We’ve got real momentum behind us now and plenty more projects in the pipeline so watch this space.”
Ollie Pendered, Chairman, Community Energy South said;
“The Sussex Energy Tariff will offer residents across Sussex competitive local energy bills specially designed to meet our community’s needs. The tariff will provide a huge boost to support the work of the Community Energy South groups who are representing our communities across the region, promoting local community owned renewable generation and helping vulnerable households with their energy costs.”
Energy and climate Change Minister Amber Rudd MP said:
“Community energy partnerships really do put the power in people’s hands. By working together in this way, people can save hundreds of pounds a year and take better control of their energy bills. Sussex is leading the way – and I hope the rest of the country will follow suit.”
For more information please contact: Rob Jeffery | Government Relations Manager | 0203 697 6374/07415 702472 Shula Smith | Head of PR and Communications | 0117 930 3125/ 07863 342317
OVO has invested significantly in scalable systems that will give community groups, local authorities and housing associations all the tools they need to run a utility business including customer service, billing, trading, and power generation. The company will also offer advanced smart metering, power purchasing and energy efficiency installations as part of its new platform.
All OVO Communities partnerships are subject to final legal and regulatory approvals as appropriate.
The £2m a year figure is based on a minimum saving of £200 if 10,000 customers switch tariff. This is a conservative estimate of the potential savings that could be made, based on Community Energy South’s experience of delivering DECC’s Big Energy Saving Network scheme in Sussex.
You Gov research earlier this year revealed that three times more people believe they would get a fairer deal from a local community energy supplier than a big energy company, proving that community energy solutions are the future.
OVO Energy is the energy retail arm of OVO Group. The company was founded in 2009 by entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick. It has since established itself as one of the leading independent suppliers in the UK market, with approximately 400,000 customers and 600 permanent staff. OVO believes in simpler, fairer, cheaper energy.
About Community Energy South
Across Sussex there is now a network of Community Energy Groups who are supported by Community Energy South (CES) providing energy services for local communities. CES aims to facilitate the transition to a distributed renewable energy network and promote reductions in energy consumption. The groups have already to date launched local services related to fuel debt (Big Energy Saving Network), energy switching and developing locally owned renewable energy generation.
About Energise Sussex Coast
Energise Sussex Coast is an energy co-operative based in St Leonards and set up to address fuel poverty in Hastings and Rother through energy saving and renewable energy generation schemes. Energise Sussex Coast was recently awarded a £ 15,000 Rexel Foundation grant to help address fuel poverty in seaside towns including Hastings and St Leonards.
About Your Energy Sussex
Your Energy Sussex is a partnership between Sussex local authorities working to promote energy saving and renewable energy with residents and businesses. Working with Carillion, the partnership will launch its service for residents in early 2015, providing high quality and guaranteed energy saving and renewable energy solutions. Your Energy Sussex works with local installers, helping to develop a thriving local low-carbon economy and job opportunities.