Bristol Energy update March 2019

Three years since its creation, Bristol Energy is forging ahead with its plan to support Bristol City Council in creating a different kind of energy provider: one which has the community at its heart and focuses on driving profits for a purpose.

We’re committed to supporting Bristol hit ambitious social and environmental goals set out in the One City Plan. Our strategy over the coming financial year (2019/20) is to focus on growing our customer base both locally and nationally and offering additional innovative energy services.

We set out our key priorities for the years to come in our business plan.

So, how did we do in 2018/19?

We have continued to perform within the range of our business plan and targets set by our shareholder, Bristol City Council.

Our customers:

At the end of the 2018/19 financial year we were supplying around 165,000 residential supply points and around 4,500 business supply points including some iconic Bristol buildings and business including Bristol City Council, SS Great Britain and We The Curious.

Our commitment to Bristol:

From local job creation to staff volunteer days, carbon reduction activities and well-being initiatives such as training mental health first aiders, we are proud to say the estimated value put back into the Bristol community is £7m this financial year (circa £12m since launch).

We established our Fuel Good Fund in 2018 to help reduce fuel poverty in Bristol. In 2018/19, 1 in 10 people were living in fuel poverty in Bristol. So far, we’ve raised over £25,000 which is being used to support our partners at the Centre for Sustainable Energy deliver the WHAM (Warmer Homes Advice & Money) project.

During the last year, we’ve established and strengthened our partnerships with local charities that help vulnerable people in our community, including FareShare SW, Feeding Bristol, LinkAge and Caring in Bristol. Our staff have volunteered at events, donated food and other in demand items such as toiletries, we have supported charities with joint marketing and social media activities and raised money by holding charity auctions, cake sales and running affiliate programmes.

Our energy:

We’re getting greener.

Our fuel mix has become greener, with the introduction of more local renewable generators adding wind, solar and hydro to our portfolio. We work directly with 54 renewable generators enabling more renewable power onto the grid. 31% of this renewable generation is sourced directly from the Bristol area.

In partnership with Geneco, a local energy innovator, waste from one million Bristol people is turned into biomethane, a sustainable, virtually carbon neutral and environmentally friendly substitute for fossil fuel natural gas. We supply our domestic customers with 15% green gas and supply our business customers with up to 100% green gas.

Our innovations:

This year, we trialled the UK’s first ‘heat as a service’ system, with our partners Energy Systems Catapult. This trial starts our journey to learn more about how customers want heat and warmth to be delivered, moving away from a traditional gas supply model of purchasing kWhs towards the easier to understand concept of ‘warm hours’.

Working with Innovate UK, the arm’s length government innovation funding body, we have created the Bristol Energy Smart System Transformation (BESST) project.

We’re collaborating with community owned renewable generators Gower Power and the technology company Origami to develop a local energy system, installing a new solar and storage facility at their existing 1MW solar farm.