MPs Support Local Selling of Clean Energy at Second Reading

MPs from all major parties have called on the Government to enable local selling of clean energy at the Energy Bill’s Second Reading. According to Power for People, who are leading the campaign, more than 120 Conservative MPs support the change. Eight of them pressured the Minister at the Commons debate.

Two clauses added by the House of Lords to the Government’s Energy Bill mean households and businesses can become customers of community-led local renewable energy companies. Studies suggest this would lead to a twentyfold growth in renewable energy generation from such schemes within a decade.

320 MPs from all parties, including 127 Conservatives, along with hundreds of councils, the National Trust, the Church of England and over 80 other national organisations support the proposals.

The reform would improve energy market competition, create tens of thousands of skilled jobs and help reduce customers’ energy bills, whilst accelerating the construction of new clean energy infrastructure. Money from energy bills would be kept local and would improve local economies across the country, while increasing local provisions for support of vulnerable customers.

Currently, outdated market regulations are blocking the potential for growth in smaller-scale energy schemes. Last night at a debate on the Government’s Energy Bill, many MPs from all parties stood up and called on the Government to stop dragging its feet.

Greg Smith, Conservative MP for Buckingham, said:

“It is an absurdity that the community energy sector has seen minimal growth in recent years because of energy market and licensing rules. These [clauses] seem to be straightforward, pro-competition, pro-consumer reforms. If the Minister is minded not to support them, what will he propose to open up the huge community energy sector opportunity?”

Selaine Saxby, Conservative MP for North Devon, said:

“It is still bewildering to me, as someone who lives somewhere sunny, windy and with a huge tide, why this has not progressed sooner.”

David Johnston, Conservative MP for Wantage, said:

“The Government have consistently said that they support the development of community energy. I urge the Minister to work with us.”

These community energy enabling clauses were the most raised and supported component of the Energy Bill at its second reading in the House of Commons on 9th May.

Power for People are the group organising the campaign for this change. Steve Shaw, their director, said:

“Because of the barriers and unreasonably regulatory burdens, not one community energy scheme in the UK sells their clean power directly to local customers. The wasted potential has gone on for far too long. Community energy groups should be enabled to sell their power to local customers. This has remarkable public and Parliamentary support and so it should be enacted. I call on the Government to work with the hundreds of supportive MPs to enable this vital reform.”

More details from Power for People.