Concept of Mutualisation
The concept of the mutual or company limited by guarantee (“CLG”) is not new. For many decades it was the preferred business model for Building Societies and other financial institutions, where in effect the company was owned by its members for the benefit of members.
A more recent and directly comparable model is Welsh Water which is owned by Glas Cymru, a single purpose company with no shareholders which is run solely for the benefit of customers. The Glas Cymru business model aims to reduce Welsh Water's asset financing cost, the water industry's single biggest cost, and improve service delivery by employing the best contract partners for each distinct activity of the business.
This was seen by the directors of Mutual Energy as an appropriate model to help address high energy prices in Northern Ireland. It also brings ownership of key infrastructure assets into the hands of Northern Ireland people, and was seen as part of regeneration following the peace process.