Under the proposals, many local households are expected to be able to save over £250* per year on their energy bills.
Competitive tariffs will be available to residents and businesses in the Borough looking for a local alternative to their current supplier. There will be particular benefits for the Borough’s most vulnerable customers – those who are fuel-poor and those on pre-payment meters.
Cllr Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism & Economic Development, was delighted the plans – which had already been approved by the Council’s cabinet – had the backing of the Full Council.
He said: “For many years now, energy prices have continued to rise faster than average pay, making heating and lighting the home less affordable every year.
“The new Southend energy company would benefit all members of the local community by offering some of the cheapest tariffs on the market and possibly providing extra support for those suffering fuel poverty.
“The Council could also benefit by opening up new sources of income at a time of ever-reducing Central Government funding, thereby protecting essential services.”
“We settled upon OVO because of their solid record in providing some of the lowest prices combined with high levels of customer service. Essentially, I believe they are big enough to make a difference but small enough to care and I personally hope to become the first resident to sign up.”
Over the coming weeks, the Council and OVO will negotiate an agreement to be signed by both parties. It is thought that the new company could then be formed and operational within six months.
*Refers to the average saving for a household on a Big 6 variable rate tariff moving on to OVO's cheapest tariff, as correct on 26th February.