Good Energy is world’s first energy company to accept local currency
Council tax, food shopping, and bus fare - now Bristol Pounds can be used to pay energy bills
100% renewable electricity company Good Energy has become the world’s first energy company to accept a local currency, with customers now able to pay their energy bills using Bristol Pounds.
The West Country-based organisation, which supplies 100% renewable electricity to homes and businesses across the UK, made the announcement during Bristol’s Big Green Week, the UK’s annual festival of environmental ideas, sponsored by Good Energy. Good Energy purchases renewable electricity from a wide range of generators in the South West including Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese maker and Worthy Farm, home of Glastonbury Festival.
The Bristol Pound is the first city-wide currency in the UK, the largest alternative to sterling and the first to be used to pay taxes to Bristol City Council. The scheme is run as a not-for-profit partnership with Bristol Credit Union, and is one of the largest local currency schemes in the world.
Good Energy CEO and founder Juliet Davenport said:
“We believe the future of energy is homegrown, sustainable generation which benefits communities and the planet. We’re incredibly excited to be leading the way by inviting our customers in Bristol to support green energy and their local economy at the same time.
This is a world first, there’s simply nowhere else you can pay for your gas and electricity with a local currency.”
Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said:
“The Bristol Pound is a tangible demonstration of the way Bristol does things differently, and it’s gone from strength to strength since it was first introduced.
I’m delighted to hear that Good Energy now accepts our very own local currency – along with over 800 Bristol businesses, large and small, which is excellent news for the local circular economy.”
Bristol Pound CIC CEO & Director Ciaran Mundy said:
“Good Energy joining the Bristol Pound is a major step forward for the city. It means that residents can now pay for energy services along with other essentials like food and transport with money that supports a fairer local economy, whilst fighting climate change by increasing renewable energy.
We think this sets the precedent for other utility companies to follow suit – Good Energy are showing us it’s possible for an organisation supplying electricity generated from clean, local sources to use a currency which helps the rest of the economy go green.”
Good Energy staff will have the option of receiving part of their pay in Bristol Pounds and the company plan to use the currency to pay suppliers in Bristol, completing the loop and ensuring money is kept in the local area.
Bristol based printers Apple Colour accept Bristol Pounds and have been working with Good Energy for some years.
Richard Bracey from Apple Colour, which is based in Silverthorne Lane, St Philips, said:
“We have a long standing relationship with Good Energy having been a supplier to them for many years. We also use them as a supplier for our electricity, recognising the importance of using 100% renewable electricity for our business. Good Energy’s introduction of their use of the Bristol Pound confirms they are making a commitment to trade locally, ensuring the growth of the area, which is great news.”
Quote ‘Bristol Pound’ when switching to Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity or dual fuel tariffs and you will receive 50 Bristol Pounds.
Jamie White, Communications Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org 01249 478 344
Michael Lloyd-Jones, Core Scheme Manager
email@example.com 0117 929 8642 / 07870519763
Notes to editors
About Good Energy
Good Energy is a fast-growing green energy company, generating and selling 100% renewable electricity to homes and businesses across the UK, all wrapped up in great customer service. Our mission is to support change in the energy market, tackle climate change and boost energy security. Good Energy has topped two consecutive MoneySavingExpert polls for customer service. Good Energy invests in renewable energy including wind, solar, hydro and tidal.
About Bristol Pound
- The Bristol Pound is the UK’s first city wide local currency, the first to have electronic accounts managed by a regulated financial institution, and the first that can be used to pay some local taxes.
- The Bristol Pound scheme is run as a not-for-profit partnership between the Bristol Pound Community Interest Company and Bristol Credit Union.
- Bristol Pound CIC is solely responsible for paper Bristol Pounds. Bristol Credit Union is responsible for all aspects of the Bristol Pound accounts and electronic payments.
- The paper Bristol Pounds, which contain the designs of competition winners from around Bristol, can be obtained at Bristol Pound Cash Point businesses and used by anyone living, working or visiting the city.
- New paper Bristol Pounds are due for issue on June 30th 2015, featuring a new set of designs chosen through a public competition. For more information, see: http://bristolpound.org/new-bristol-pounds
- A survey of Bristol Pound (£B) members found that 43% of £B members have increased the amount they spend in local independents because of £B, 66% of Bristol Pound members spend £Bs on groceries and 64% spend £Bs on travel.
- Bristol Pounds are accepted on First Bus routes starting in Bristol and on City Sightseeing Buses.
- £B119,502 was paid in Bristol Pounds for business rates to Bristol City Council in 2014.
- Payroll schemes, which allow employees to request part of their pay in Bristol Pounds, are available at Bristol City Council, Sustrans, Soil Association, Sawday’s, CoExist CIC, Low Carbon Southwest, Essential Trading, and Bristol 2015 Ltd.
- A printed £B directory and Tourist map are available from member businesses around the city.
- Bristol Pound CIC recently launched the ‘Real Economy’ project, which aims to grow the capacity of the local food system, give access to fresh local food and encourage local enterprise through the formation of local food buying groups. For more info: www.realeconomy.co.uk
- A free official Bristol Pound App, developed by Pocket Intelligence Limited, is available from the App store and Google Play.
- Bristol Credit Union (BCU) is a financial services co-operative providing ethical, local banking services to over 10,000 people across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. BCU is a strong, well-capitalised Credit Union with over £7mn in assets and offers local people access to affordable loans, competitive savings accounts and quality banking services. Bristol Credit Union Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subscribes to the Financial Ombudsman Service. All eligible savings with Bristol Credit Union, including those held in Bristol Pound accounts, are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
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