Bristol City Council Cabinet has agreed to sell the local authority owned company, Bristol Energy.
Founded in 2015, current Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees said the company has faced unprecedented challenges since being established by his predecessor George Ferguson.
Mayor Rees also championed Bristol Energy in the early days of his tenure and backed the organisation.
Earlier this year though, the council commissioned EY – paying the firm £165k + VAT – to conduct a viability study on the business.
Cabinet then reviewed the recommendations during a session exempt due to commercial confidentiality. They agreed selling the company now would prevent any further investment than already agreed.
The council will now seek a buyer.
Mayor Rees comments: “Establishing an energy company was always a high risk for the council, and one which has brought continued challenges. The energy market is dominated by well-established far larger energy providers. Having inherited a failing company where £15 million had already been spent or earmarked for spend, we were faced with a choice.
“We could have closed the company then or tried to develop a business strategy that would succeed, both in tackling fuel poverty in Bristol and delivering a financial return for the city. This proved to be impossible in such a volatile market place.”
The Council’s cash investment in Bristol Energy Ltd as at 2 June 2020 is £36.5m, and total cash funding envelope is set at £37.7m, as previously approved.
More to follow.