The campaign group, Power for People, have thanked Bath’s MP, Wera Hobhouse, for championing community renewable energy at a recent debate in the House of Commons.
Central to the debate was the proposal to create a ‘Right to Local Supply’ via a proposed new law, known as the Local Electricity Bill, that Ms Hobhouse is co-sponsoring and is supported by a cross-party group of 212 MPs. The Bill aims to help rebuild local economies whilst increasing clean energy generation.
Ms Hobhouse stressed the need for a level playing field in the energy market, so that local partnerships like that between Bath and North East Somerset Council and Bath and West Community Energy can bring more benefits to local communities and expand their clean energy generation.
If made law, the Local Electricity Bill would empower community-owned local energy companies to sell locally generated renewable electricity directly to local households and businesses.
Currently customers can only purchase electricity from nationally licensed utilities. The Bill’s supporters say this means that the money people use to pay their energy bills is not helping to rebuild local economies and local clean energy infrastructure.
Responding to the debate on behalf of the government, Energy Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said, “It is certainly something that I as the Energy Minister will be willing to engage with and have a discussion about … I think that with a co-operative spirit, we can get very far.”
Campaigning group, Power for People, are calling for MPs and the government to make the Bill law and are leading a supportive coalition of organisations including Community Energy Scotland, Community Energy England, Community Energy Wales, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB. 62 local authorities have also pledged their support.
Power for People’s Director, Steve Shaw, said, “We thank Wera Hobhouse for championing community energy and the Local Electricity Bill. If made law, the Bill would unlock the huge potential for new community-owned clean energy infrastructure and for this to boost jobs, services, and facilities in communities in Bath, across Somerset and also the rest of the UK.”
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, said, “A Right to Local Supply will empower and enable new community energy companies to sell energy that they generate directly to local people, accelerating our transition to clean energy and helping to strengthen local economies. The main problem is the lack of a level playing field which means the smaller providers cannot compete with the bigger ones, and therefore we need this change. The Local Electricity Bill would enshrine a Right to Local Supply in law and I will do all I can to ensure it succeeds.”
For your further information:
A one minute video on the Local Electricity Bill:
A list of MPs, councils and organisations backing the Local Electricity Bill:
The Local Electricity Bill and the campaign in brief:
Related Parliamentary process and how Power for People plans to win the campaign:
Power for People is a not for profit organisation campaigning for the UK to rapidly transition to 100% clean energy and for local communities to benefit from this great transition.