Local Electricity Bill could bring power to the people

Electricity pylon in front of sunrise

Posted on: 18 February 2020

Councillors have backed a move to lobby Government to open up opportunities for the local generation and supply of green energy.

At North Devon Council’s Full Council meeting in January, councillors resolved to support the reintroduction of the Local Electricity Bill. If made law, the Bill could make it financially viable for community energy groups to become registered energy suppliers. This decision follows the council’s commitment to tackle climate change as it signed up to a joint Devon-wide climate change declaration last year.

The Local Electricity Bill, which was originally supported by a cross-party group of 115 MPs, aims to solve the current problem whereby high set up and running costs mean that local renewable energy generators are unable to sell the energy they generate to local people. The Bill would establish a Right to Local Supply that would make the costs of selling locally generated clean energy proportionate to the scale of the operation.

Lead Member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson, says: “The Local Electricity Bill would benefit the existing community energy groups across the country and, even more excitingly, create the opportunity for huge growth in such groups and other local clean energy providers.

“If the Bill became law it would be excellent news for local authorities that wished to set up their own energy companies to sell locally generated renewable energy to local people, as the set up and running costs involved would be proportionate and thus a fraction of what they are now. The revenues received could be ploughed back into things like energy efficiency schemes and other local services and facilities.”

More information on the Devon Climate Declaration can be found on the Devon Climate Emergency website. More Information on the Local Electricity Bill can be found on the Power for People website.

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