London launches green energy firm to fight climate change, poverty

Profits will be invested into community projects that help tackle fuel poverty and fight climate change.

Whitelee Wind Farm
The Whitelee Wind Farm, found in Scotland, United Kingdom, is one of the biggest wind farms in Europe. Image: byronv2, CC BY-SA 2.0

London’s mayor launched a green energy company that will provide “fair-priced” electricity from renewable sources on Monday, seeking to reduce carbon emissions and make fuel more affordable.

One in 10 Londoners cannot afford to pay their energy bills, according to figures from the mayor’s office, which said the new, company London Power, would offer a competitive tariff.

Profits will be invested into community projects that help tackle fuel poverty, fight climate change and meet the British capital’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“It is a disgrace that many Londoners pay too much to heat and light their homes,” said London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan in a statement.

London Power is run in partnership with British firm Octopus Energy and will generate electricity from renewable sources including solar and wind, the statement said.

It follows similar moves by Barcelona in Spain, Basel in Switzerland and Burlington in the United States.

One in seven Americans is served by a not-for-profit, community owned or locally controlled power utility, according to the American Public Power Association.

Britain was the first G7 country to commit to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and in 2019 produced more electricity from zero-carbon sources such as wind, solar and nuclear than from fossil fuel plants for the first time.

London is not the first British city to launch its own energy provider.

In 2015 the English city of Nottingham created a not for profit green energy company to tackle local fuel poverty - calling it Robin Hood Energy, after the legendary local hero famed for robbing the rich to pay the poor.

This story was published with permission from Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit http://news.trust.org/climate.

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