Today campaign group, Power for People, thanked Caerphilly County Borough Council for resolving to support a Bill that would increase domestically generated clean energy, helping to boost local economies and reduce the UK’s reliance on gas.
The proposed new law, known as the Local Electricity Bill, is supported by a cross-party group of 290 MPs, including the local MP for Caerphilly, Wayne David. Caerphilly County Borough Council now joins the group of 100 local authorities across the UK who have resolved to support the Bill.
If made law, the Bill would create a new ‘Right to Local Supply’ of energy that would empower communities to sell locally generated electricity directly to local households and businesses. This was a key recommendation of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, who advise the Government on environmental policy, following their 2021 inquiry into community-scale renewable energy.
Currently customers can only purchase electricity from nationally licensed utilities. The Bill’s supporters say this means money people use to pay their energy bills is not helping to rebuild local economies and local clean energy infrastructure.
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 Wales, Community Energy England, Community Energy Scotland, Good Energy, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB.
Plaid Cymru group leader, Councillor Colin Mann, who proposed the successful motion, said
“It is very important that obstacles to people generating energy locally are removed. Local generation is far more efficient and boosts the local economy. The further that power is transmitted the more is lost. At times only a small percentage of centrally generated energy gets to the consumer.”
“I am very pleased that there was unanimous support for this motion. The government should remove the obstacles sooner rather than later.”
Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Councillor Philippa Marsden, said,
“We are a forward thinking council and we continue to look for innovative ways to deliver services in a green and sustainable way fit for the future. We are supporting this bill to become law to allow electricity generators, such as local companies or community groups to sell their energy directly to local people – and make it financially viable to do so, resulting in a potential boost to the local economy and a reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions.”
Power for People’s Director, Steve Shaw, said,
“We thank Caerphilly County Borough Council for supporting the Local Electricity Bill, and Councillor Colin Mann for proposing the successful motion. If made law, the Bill would unleash the huge potential for new community-owned clean energy infrastructure, making our energy system more robust and boosting the local economy, jobs, services and facilities in Caerphilly and in communities across the country.”
Responding on behalf of the Government on November 30th 2021, Minister of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister, Greg Hands MP, said of the Bill that the Government “agree with its broad intentions” but not the detail. The campaign continues.