GLA Energy Supply Licence

MQT on 2015-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2015
Question By: 
James Cleverly
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How will your plans for the GLA to become a 'Licence Lite' energy supplier help to improve the energy market in London?


Answer for GLA Energy Supply Licence

Answer for GLA Energy Supply Licence

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  James, thank you.  This is a very brilliant scheme that Matthew Pencharz came up with.  We already have one Licence Lite in operation.  There may be several but - and, look, I am not going to explain this very well - basically the GLA is buying in energy from a bunch of suppliers and then selling it to TfL.  Somehow or other, TfL is paying us about £200,000.  The gist of it is that it is paying us £200,000, which you may think is odd since we are all effectively part of the same ball of wax but I am told that it cannot get that energy any other way and that this represents a good deal for TfL as well.  In theory, it is win‑win.

James Cleverly AM MP:  Perhaps a series of supplementary questions with monosyllabic answers from you.  For example, Mr Mayor, do you feel that the GLA energy supply licence is a gateway for the middle ground energy supplier - not the micro home suppliers and not the very large suppliers of energy but that middle ground of energy suppliers?  Do you think this scheme could be a good open door for those middle‑tier decentralised energy suppliers to plug into the London energy grid?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.

James Cleverly AM MP:  Excellent.  Therefore, what else could be done in support of this scheme to ensure that London becomes a technology hub for decentralised energy?  Obviously, if we can make ourselves the go‑to place in Europe and the world for decentralised energy, it would be great.  Working closely with London & Partners, for example, to broadcast the fact that middle‑tier decentralised energy suppliers should see London as their natural home, could that be something we could consider?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.

James Cleverly AM MP:  Excellent.  We are making firm progress.  Will you ensure that the work that is done through the Licence Lite and these decentralised energy suppliers is plugged into your wider plans to clean London’s air, reduce bad air episodes and so on, to ensure that we do not fall foul of future European Union (EU) fines with regard to this?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.  The whole initiative is very interesting and I thank you for the interest and energy you are committing to it.

James Cleverly AM MP:  Finally, just a slight word of caution.  There could be a temptation to use this scheme to become, to all intents and purposes, a public sector retailer of energy into domestic users.  I just urge caution with regard to that.  Focus on using this as a way to get clean, sustainable energy into the London travel sector and to stimulate the market rather than to try to replicate the work of free‑market players, even though we all recognise there are some significant flaws in the retail energy market.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.  I seem to remember there was a company called Enron that tried to do this kind of thing.  We have no intention of becoming the next Enron.

James Cleverly AM MP:  Thank you.