SNP to set up public energy company

Leader Nicola Sturgeon promises new not-for-profit outfit will cut fuel bills for Scottish homes

Conference season usually produces lots of gossip and very little in the way by way of significant policies.

But Nicola Sturgeon made a bold pledge during her speech at the SNP gathering in Glasgow today, promising to establish a public energy company by 2021 to compete with the big private providers.

Energy would be bought wholesale…and sold to customers as close to cost price as possible

Scotland’s First Minister said the body would be run as a not-for-profit, using renewable energy.

“Energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland – renewable, of course – and sold to customers as close to cost price as possible,” she said. “No shareholders to worry about. No corporate bonuses to consider.”

Although Scottish Labour accused Sturgeon of lifting their idea, a publically-owned energy company was floated in the nationalists’ last manifesto.

Many consumers on low incomes will welcome any move offering an option to switch to cheaper fuel bills.

Rising energy costs across the UK have hit many families hard, pulling some into fuel poverty. According to Citizens Advice, the average gas and electricity bills have gone up by £89 – 8.3% – in the past year.

This week’s edition of The Big Issue shows readers how to switch to the cheapest possible renewable supplier and make big savings.

The Big Issue has teamed up with the Big Clean Switch campaign to show customers how to change provider and cut fuel bills.

The average annual saving among consumers who have switched to a clean supplier of gas and electricity is £251.

For more information, buy this week’s edition of The Big Issue, or go to bigcleanswitch.org/bigissue

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