Bristol Liberal Democrats have criticised the City Council's handling of Bristol Energy, after the community energy company posted over £11million in loses for 2018.
Whilst the idea was conceived in 2010 under the Liberal Democrat administration, due to implementation delays under the Ferguson administration it was launched to much fanfare in 2016 by Mayor Rees. The company is funded by taxpayers and has yet to place a profit.
Cllr Tim Kent, Lib Dem Councillor for Hengrove & Whitchurch Park, said:
"This could be the largest financial mess in the history of the council. Possibly dwarfs even the Bundred Report.
"It would appear very unlikely that the tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers loans to the company will ever be repaid.
"Liberal Democrats demand better. It's important to encourage community energy schemes and diversify the energy market, but when you're playing with taxpayers' money, you need to make sure you have a plan to make a profit. We are yet to see that plan."
The Liberal Democrats want to expand community energy schemes, encourage councils to develop community energy saving projects and local electricity generation and promote city-scale demonstration projects in electric vehicles and clean energy and continue to back new entrants to the energy market, aiming for at least 30% of the household market to be supplied by competitors to the ‘Big 6’ by 2022.