Council-owned Bristol Energy aims to be in profit by 2021

Image caption Bristol Energy provides gas and electricity with tariffs on sale nationally

A council-owned energy company set up a year ago has said it is on course to return a profit by 2021.

Bristol Energy provides gas and electricity, with tariffs on sale across the UK.

The firm said it had revised its original business plan after customer take-up was lower than expected and said it was now hitting those targets.

Bristol City Council has invested £15.3m in the business and said it was "showing a positive trajectory".

The council would not say when its investment would be paid back as the information was "commercially sensitive".

Bristol Energy managing director Peter Haigh said: "The key thing we can say is how the business is growing - how we're now on target in terms of our current plan.

"There will always be critics and I think that is a good thing, and if we get more scrutiny than most, then there's no harm in that."

He said more than 80,000 customers had signed up and the firm aimed to return a profit by 2021 after revising its original 2019 target date.

BBC Radio Bristol political reporter Pete Simson

There aren't many authorities out there who have set up an energy company to try and raise some much-needed cash. But Bristol likes to do things differently.

The authority has always argued Bristol Energy is more than just a money-making project.

It has laudable aims to help people out of fuel poverty, donate to charity, and use renewables.

However with such a large stake in the firm, at a time when services are being cut, Bristol taxpayers have a right to see a return.

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