Today campaign group, Power for People, thanked Stroud District 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 280 MPs, including local MP for Stroud, Siobhan Baillie. If made law, it 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 recent 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 England, Community Energy Scotland, Community Energy Wales, Good Energy, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB. 87 local authorities have pledged their support to date.
Labour Councillor for Stroud Slade, Laurie DAVIES, who proposed the successful motion, said,
“I put forward this motion in light of the current rising energy costs and recognising the horrible reality that many in our community will face the bleak choice between heating and eating this winter.
“I put forward this motion also recognising the climate breakdown that is very real and imminent and that this council has already made a commitment to tackling
“On a personal note, as single mother but as someone who is fortunate enough to be able to work, I know I face tough choices this winter in terms of affording to heat our home and feed ourselves, I can only imagine the situations worse than mine and even more bleak choices they will need to make. I also feel a very real responsibility to do all I can to make sure my son and his children can grow and be safe in a world that isn’t facing climate catastrophe which is a very real possibility if we don’t take active and workable measures, as soon as possible.”
Labour Councillor for Stroud Uplands, Paula BAKER, who seconded her colleague’s motion, said,
“I was delighted that the motion to support the Local Electricity Bill had unanimous cross-party support from Stroud District Councillors. We are in climate crisis, and facing unprecedented rises in fossil fuel costs which will push many of our residents into desperate fuel poverty. If this bill is enacted, it will promote the change in our energy supply to renewable local providers, reduce carbon emissions, alleviate fuel poverty, and increase our local economic resilience.”
Leader of Stroud District Council, Councillor Doina CORNELL, who supported the motion, said,
“The Local Electricity Bill will empower and enable new community energy companies to sell energy that they generate directly to local people. The revenues received by these new local renewable energy providers would be used to help improve the local economy and local services and facilities.”
Power for People’s Director, Steve Shaw, said,
“We thank Stroud District Council for supporting the Local Electricity Bill, with special thanks to Councillor Laurie Davies and Councillor Paula Baker. 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 local economies, jobs, services and facilities in Stroud and in communities across the country.”
Responding on behalf of the Government on the 1st July, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister, Amanda Solloway MP, said of the Bill that the Government, “agreed with its broad intentions,” but not the detail. The campaign continues.