Robin Hood Energy and Nottingham City Transport have both been named as two of the country’s top publicly owned companies.
The Local Public Ownership Awards showcase some of the best and most inspiring council-run services in the UK. Both Nottingham companies were shortlisted against 10 other local councils. The public then voted for who they thought were the most forward-thinking examples of local public ownership. Both Nottingham City Transport and Robin Hood Energy won the accolade, alongside Bristol Energy.
LocalGov and We Own It introduced the awards last year to celebrate the hard work of councils and over 4,000 people voted in this year’s awards.
Robin Hood Energy: the first council-owned energy company
Robin Hood Energy was launched in 2015 by Nottingham City Council as an initiative to reduce fuel poverty both locally and nationally and tackle the 60% of energy users who had never switched. The company has been at the forefront of local authority energy supply ever since.
Available both locally and nationwide, Robin Hood Energy operates on a not-for-profit basis and has no private shareholders or bonus schemes. This model allows the company to use its profits to create affordable, competitive tariffs that benefit its energy customers.
The rewards of this radical new energy model became apparent almost immediately after the company launch. Only two months after the launch of Robin Hood Energy, the East Midlands climbed eight places to become the cheapest region in the country for dual fuel tariffs out of 14 regions. Robin Hood Energy’s activity in the region immediately prompted its larger competitors to realign their tariffs to compete, benefiting the regions energy users overall.
Always looking to innovate, Robin Hood Energy has now gone on to support other local authorities who wanted to join the energy supply market. Through its White Label Partnerships Robin Hood Energy has now helped Leeds City Council, Liverpool City Council and Derby City Council to launch their own energy labels. With more White Label Partnerships on the horizon the movement of publicly owned energy supply is growing steadily, a movement led by Robin Hood Energy.
Nottingham City Transport – four times Bus Operator of the Year
Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is the biggest transport operator in Nottingham and largest council owned bus company in England, with 330 buses providing a comprehensive network of services across the city, 7 days a week.
Nottingham City Transport has been named UK Bus Operator of the Year for a record-breaking four times, winning most recently in 2016. It boasts an impressive customer satisfaction rate of 92%.
Through continued investment in modern, fully accessible buses – including the introduction of 30 bio-gas buses in recent months – and increasing frequencies on core routes throughout the City, they have been able attract more people on to their buses, bucking a national trend of bus passenger decline.
Cllr Graham Chapman, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It is really gratifying to see these Nottingham companies get the recognition they deserve. Robin Hood Energy is providing low cost energy for 10,000 city customers. Nottingham City Transport is recognised as one of the best bus companies in the UK, with one of the widest networks. Both show that efficiently managed, the public sector can provide quality services, local jobs and in many cases, a good return for the council tax payer.”
Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT Marketing Manager commented, “This latest award win demonstrates that the public ownership of NCT is hugely beneficial to Nottingham, as we are able to re-invest in the city for the benefit of the City. Our recent introduction of a fleet of bio-gas double deck buses, which are the greenest buses on the road, was achieved through close partnership with Nottingham City Council as we work together to ensure Nottingham is the greenest city in the UK”.
Cllr Steve Battlemuch, Chair of the Robin Hood Energy board, said: “. Just being nominated for an award was fantastic but to win is something we’re incredibly proud of, especially considering the calibre of the other organisations nominated. It’s brilliant to have our company values recognised in this way and, of course, recognising the support of our customers. Going forward we’ll continue to champion publicly owned energy and keep putting people back at the heart of energy supply.”