Council owned energy supplier Beam Energy has announced its intention to sell its customer book, and shift its focus to renewable energy.
Set up two years ago by Barking and Dagenham Council to provide competitive green energy to help tackle fuel poverty in the borough, the energy supplier was a product of a partnership with Nottingham City Council’s beleaguered supplier Robin Hood Energy.
This included all aspects of Beam’s operations being managed by the northern counterpart, including power supplies, billing, metering and customer relations.
Now with its partner set to be sold off – with Centrica’s British Gas already buying up Robin Hood Energy’s customer base for an undisclosed amount last week – Beam has confirmed that all its 600 customers will be automatically switched to a new supplier.
The company has pointed to how different the market is now then when it was set up, in particular with no price caps in place back in 2018, making it possible for the company to offer tariffs in the cheapest quartile of energy prices, and even offer free power on Christmas Day.
Leader of Barking and Dagenham, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said the company had done a good job of providing cheaper energy “at a time when prices were being hiked and customers could do very little to stop it".
“We set it up to fill a gap in the market at the time, and to really support people who are in difficult financial circumstances, often living hand to mouth and paying expensive rates with pre-paid meters.
“Over the last year or so, I’m pleased to see that the government has listened and taken action by introducing price caps, changing the whole nature of the market and more importantly, giving customers better rates and more protection from price hikes. The major players have been forced to match lower prices, which is great for all energy customers.”
Together with the closure of Robin Hood Energy, this means now is the time for a shift for the company he continued. Beam will now turn its focus to renewable energy the council said, working to ensure all homes in Barking Dagenham have affordable renewable energy systems like heat pumps, solar panels, insulation and electric charge-points.
This will help the borough to become carbon neutral by 2050. Beam Energy customers do not need to do anything, the company will write to them over the next week informing them of the changes, and giving details about how their current tariffs will be protected as they are switched to a new supplier.