Never mind Help to Buy – the Coalition should focus on Help to Supply.
That’s according to thinktank ResPublica which says there are “major barriers” for up and coming energy suppliers in the UK. It reckons the UK should look to Germany for an example.
Its new report suggests Government set up a ‘Help to Supply’ scheme encouraging existing energy retailers to buddy up with a community, small business or local authority to get them into the market.
The report, ‘Creating Local Energy Economies: Lessons from Germany’, points to the country’s 1,100 electricity suppliers with the four largest holding just 44% of the retail market.
In the UK a dozen new businesses have dipped their toe in the supply market since 2011 taking the total number to 25 but the ‘Big Six’ still hold 93.5% of the market share.
ResPublica’s Head of Research, Caroline Julian said: “Germany’s energy markets and corresponding infrastructure are so different that it’s tempting to think that we can’t possibly learn from their success.
“To the contrary, there are ways in which we can begin to encourage new businesses into our energy markets and facilitate the local trade and supply of our energy.”
She added: “Communities, local authorities, small businesses and housing associations have the ambition; and recent surveys show that there is demand for local power. Government simply needs to cut the red tape and implement a far more ambitious vision of Britain’s future energy market.”
The report is backed by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and new supplier Co-operative Energy.