Our social impact 2018-2019

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marek majewicz

A different kind of energy provider 

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 delivering significant social value to the city, around £7m in 2018/19 and roughly £12m since we launched in 2016.

My message to everyone in Bristol is this is your energy company – join us to help give back to Bristol.

Marek Majewicz, Managing Director 

How do we measure the social value we deliver in Bristol?

In 2018/19, we delivered £7m social value to the city.

Working with our shareholder, Bristol City Council, we measure the amount of social value we have delivered using the National Social Value Measurement (TOMs - Themes, Outcomes and Measures) framework.

Find out more about the TOMs framework

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Social Impact Measure 1: Jobs

We employ 103 local people, out of a total number of 185 employees.

In July 2018, we joined the Living Wage Foundation. The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum.

We run a number of apprenticeships every year and in 2018/19 we recruited three apprentices to our Customer Care, Workplace Support and IT teams.

Creating equality in the workplace

  • Of our employees who identify as either male or female, our team is currently 48% female and 52% male
  • Of our top 25% paid employees, 48% are female and 52% male 
  • Our Senior Leadership Team is 43% female - Three female colleagues and four male

Bristol Energy is committed to being an equal opportunities employer.

Our policies and the way we advertise our jobs are always reviewed to ensure they are free from gendered language or any stereotypes to ensure that we are inclusive of everyone regardless of their gender or gender identity.

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Social Impact Measure 2: Growth

Throughout the year, we have supported the growth of local businesses. We've ethically procured goods from local suppliers, ensuring social value is embedded within the supply chain where possible.

Operating ethically and working with local businesses.

We’re proud to be on the Ethical Consumer Best Buy list and strive to put ethical choices at the core of our business. In 2018/19 we spent around £2.8m in the local supply chain, working with businesses in our community to procure various goods and services.

Winning new business

2018/19 saw lots of new business wins in the Bristol area, and nationally.

We were pleased to have been awarded Bristol City Council’s electricity and supply contracts after a competitive tender process. All of Bristol City Council’s sites including council offices, museums, council managed schools, libraries and care facilities are now supplied by us.

Other businesses who joined us in 2018/19 include:

Supporting staff wellbeing

We recognise that work is just one part of all our people’s busy lives. We’ve focused on increasing our people’s ability to work flexibly and remotely. We believe this promotes productivity, wellness and, by reducing journeys to the office, will help decrease our carbon emissions.

We’re proud to have pioneered a new remote digital team of UK based workers who will support our in-house customer care team, working outside of usual office hours at evenings and weekends, to speak to customers at a time convenient to them.

In 2018, we trained eight mental health first aiders. These employees volunteered to be trained, acting as non-judgemental and confidential touch points for our employees who are seeking help and support at work.

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Social Impact Measure 3: Social

One in ten people live in fuel poverty in Bristol. We're helping to tackle this by supporting these vulnerable residents and working with partners in the city.

Our Fuel Good Fund

In 2018, we established the Fuel Good Fund to help reduce fuel poverty in Bristol. So far, we’ve raised over £27,000 which is being used to support our partners at the Centre for Sustainable Energy deliver the WHAM (Warmer Homes Advice & Money) project.

This pioneering project brought together multi-disciplinary support for vulnerable citizens who may need help with energy efficiency measures, debt advice and payment plans.

Leading the fight against cold homes

We’ve also led a cross city initiative ‘No Cold Homes’ which brings together leaders from housing, healthcare, energy and community groups to develop collaborative plans tackling all the things that contribute to fuel poverty.

We are proud to contribute to Bristol’s ambitious One City plan, part of which is an ambtition to ensure that no one suffers a cold home by 2030.

We voluntarily offered the Warm Home Discount to around 3,280 customers in 2018/19.

Keeping pre-payment meter prices low when the price cap increased

When the government mandated price cap increased in early 2019, we made sure we put our pre-payment meter customers first, a group of customers who are most likely to experience some level of fuel poverty.

Rather than simply put our prices up to hit the top end of the cap as some larger suppliers have done, we increased our prices only to ensure we are able to continue operating in a sustainable way. We will continue to be priced under the maximum level allowed by the cap.

For our pre-payment meter customers, we will be priced even further under the cap. This means we are still the cheapest pre-payment meter in Bristol and one of the cheapest in the UK making energy affordable to a group particularly at risk of vulnerability and with less access to competitive tariffs.

 

Marek Majewicz, Managing Director

We work in partnership with Bristol City Council to support council tenants, care homes and other care facilities in the city to keep lights on and homes warm.  

Working with like minded partners

During the last year, we’ve established and strengthened our partnerships with local charities that help vulnerable people in our community, including:

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Social Impact Measure 4: Environment

A large part of our vision to build a sustainable energy company is focussed on the environment and taking climate action.

Our fuel mix has become greener, with the introduction of more local renewable generators, adding wind, solar and hydro to our portfolio.

Our fuel mix is getting greener still, up to 79% in 2018/19, compared to 51% in 2017/2018.

 

Our Generators

We work directly with 54 renewable generators around the UK, from local community projects to large scale commercial generators like the National Trust and Thrive. 31% of this renewable generation is sourced directly from the Bristol area.

In addition, 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.

Turning poo into power

In 2018/19, in partnership with Geneco, a local energy innovator, we launched our green gas, otherwise known as poo power!

Waste from one million Bristol people is turned into biomethane, a sustainable, virtually carbon neutral and environmentally friendly substitute for fossil fuel natural gas.

Poo power is the circular economy in action: Bristol waste is recycled into energy.

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