Renewed focus for Beam Energy as renewable energy moves higher up the agenda
Barking and Dagenham has announced that its green energy brand, Beam Energy, is set to shift its focus to renewable energy against a backdrop of a hugely changing energy market.
Set up by the council in December 2018, Beam Energy’s mission was simple. It was intended to provide 100% green electricity at competitive prices to its customers, in a bid to tackle fuel poverty across the borough.
The landscape of the energy market at the time, with no price caps in place, meant that Beam Energy was able to offer more competitive rates, often than the big six energy companies, with an emphasis on helping customers on expensive, pre-paid meters and variable tariffs.
Beam Energy was the product of a partnership with Nottingham City Council’s wholly owned not-for-profit energy company, Robin Hood Energy.
In the last 21 months, Beam Energy has been able to offer its 600 customers tariffs in the cheapest quartile of energy prices on offer in London, and even offered free power on Christmas Day for households that were identified as financially struggling. All aspects of the operations from power supplies to billing, metering, and customer relations have been managed by Robin Hood Energy under the partnership.
Beam Energy has 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.
With the recent announcement that Nottingham City Council are looking to sell Robin Hood Energy, and in the context of a hugely different energy market, Barking and Dagenham Council have decided now is the time for Beam Energy to have a renewed focus – renewable energy.
Nottingham City Council are in talks with a potential buyer for Robin Hood Energy and is due to make an announcement about this imminently.
In the meantime, they have confirmed that all existing Beam Energy customers will be automatically switched to the new supplier. Their tariffs will be matched like-for-like or bettered as part of that switch-over, with no exit penalties for customers wanting to move to another a provider.
Leader of Barking and Dagenham, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said: “Beam Energy has 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.
“This, and the news that Robin Hood Energy is being sold, means it’s time for a shift for Beam Energy. Now that progress has been made in the energy market, our focus in Barking and Dagenham needs to be on renewable energy as we try to make our borough carbon neutral by 2050.”
The decision has no financial impact on Barking and Dagenham Council and will mean Beam Energy will no longer operate in its current guise, instead turning its focus to ensuring homes in Barking and Dagenham have access to affordable renewable energy systems like heat pumps, solar panels, insulation and electric charge-points as the borough moves to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Beam Energy will be writing to its customers over the next week informing them of the changes and giving details of the protection of their existing tariffs.