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Launching a new kind of energy

It’s not often research helps launch a new company. But that’s exactly what we did with Bristol City Council.

In early 2015, the Council was considering launching a municipal energy company. Bristol Energy would achieve the Mayor’s vision of a sustainable green city, generate revenue for local services and most importantly, provide a fairer deal for consumers, especially those most disadvantaged by the current energy market. In short, the Council hoped Bristol Energy would be a commercial enterprise, with a social remit.

Shed worked with the Council to provide a robust business plan. This involved assessing the size of the market, potential customer segments, triggers and barriers to switching energy supplier, and how best to position the new company and its services.

We needed to do all of this within a very tight deadline. And it needed to stand up to the scrutiny of PwC’s due diligence.

To maximise the use of publicly-accountable funds, we drew on the huge amount of existing research on the energy market. We also ran focus groups, in-depth interviews and online surveys (nationally and within Bristol) to fill in important gaps in our knowledge.

Our work shaped sections of the business plan:

  1. We demonstrated the size of the opportunity by creating a model for calculating Bristol Energy’s potential number of customers
  2. We showed BCC how to marry the public and private sector agendas by creating a hierarchy of messages that articulate Bristol Energy’s story

Bristol Energy launched at towards the end of 2015 and will make its full market entry in 2016. We’re very proud to have been involved in its success.

Client: Bristol City Council

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