Ovo Energy has today launched a new package of services to help local community groups become energy suppliers.
Called Ovo Communities, it aims to boost local power generation and challenge the Big Six energy giants – by bringing up to 500 new power providers on-stream by 2020.
The independent energy supplier will act as a co-ordinator and technology partner to local communities and help them generate their own power and sell energy to local residents.
It will also offer smart metering, power purchasing and energy efficiency installations as part of its new platform.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and Managing Director, Ovo Energy believes “one of the great myths of today’s energy industry is that we need big, centralised energy companies to keep the lights on”.
He added: “By enabling hundreds of potential new entrants to share our infrastructure, Ovo is smashing down barriers to entry into an industry that desperately needs a fresh approach. We face a big energy challenge in the UK and we really need to change how the industry works.”
The energy firm has won the backing of Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who has repeatedly called for the expansion of community-owned energy projects.
Mr Davey said: “Ovo’s initiative is good news for energy consumers and shows that the independent suppliers who’ve grown so much in the last few years are stepping up the competition with the large energy companies. Helping local people take control of their power supply fits very much with our community energy vision, opening up energy markets to smaller companies and community organisations.”
The news comes just days after London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled his plans to supply energy with a “junior” operating licence from Ofgem.