Independent energy firm Ovo Energy has launched a new community led energy creation scheme designed to combat the monopoly of the UK's established Big Six energy suppliers.
The energy supplier is offering to act as a co-ordinator and technology partner to help boost local energy production. It hopes to create as many as 500 providers by 2020 by working alongside everyone from local authorities to community groups.
Ovo Energy found and managing director, Stephen Fitzpatrick, said: "One of the great myths of today's energy industry is that we need big, centralised energy companies to keep the lights on.
"Ovo launched just five years ago and we have proved that small can be beautiful; we run a more efficient business, with happier customers and lower prices.
"We now supply just over one per cent of the UK market, and are growing quickly. Now we want to share our knowledge and expertise to encourage others to follow our lead."
The firm has invested in a number of systems capable of helping community groups, and even local authorities and housing associations. These can then be to suit each bodies needs, providing all the tools required to run a successful utility firm, including billing, power generation, and customer service.
Through its new Ovo Communities division, it will also offer smart metering, energy efficiency installations and power purchasing.
Such a community based model has proven to be quite well received in countries in Europe, Germany in particular produces more than half its electricity and gas through such local municipalities and community organisations.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed 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."
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