A New Law to Boost Local Clean Energy

We are campaigning for the Local Electricity Bill to become law.

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The Problem

Many communities in villages, towns and cities across the country want to build new renewable generation and then sell the electricity it produces to local people.

Current energy market and licensing rules make this impossible.

Meanwhile renewables investment in the UK is collapsing, falling 10% in 2016 and 56% in 2017. Yet the UK has huge clean energy potential, being one of the windiest countries in Europe.

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Above: Community hydro power scheme members and their ‘Archimedes screw’ generator in Aberdeen – they would like to sell the electricity they generate to local people, but currently are unable to

The Solution

Communities need the right to sell locally generated energy to local people. This would

1. Allow communities to benefit from selling local renewable energy, e.g. by putting the money into local energy efficiency schemes

2. Mean that more communities could raise funds to build more renewable energy

We have drafted the Local Electricity Bill that would do this. We are campaigning for it to be made law.

Please SIGN UP to support the campaign!

Supportive MPs

Supportive organisations

More detail 

To avoid catastrophic levels of climate change we know that within the next few decades we must deploy enough renewable generation so that all, or nearly all, energy comes from renewables. Yet in the UK only 25% of electricity is generated by renewable sources.[1] The government has acknowledged that the UK’s transition to renewables is not happening anywhere near fast enough.[2]

If a community organisation or local business wants to raise money to invest in building new local renewable generation they currently would receive around 4p/kWh (pence per kilowatt-hour) from the electricity that they generate and ‘feed into’ the national grid. Meanwhile end customers are paying around 14p/kWh to energy utilities.

If that same community organisation or a local enterprise want to sell to local customers directly they must obtain a supply licence from Ofgem, the energy regulator, and they must employ technical specialists and set up bespoke computer systems in order to interface with complex codes, rules and agreements that are a fundamental part of the national energy market. These codes and agreements are controlled by the largest utilities that currently control around 85% of the market. The set-up costs alone are hundreds of thousands of pounds.[3]

This means that communities who want to raise funds to build new local renewable energy cannot make a financial case for doing so. So renewables that could potentially be built are not getting built. Communities and local economies are losing out from the potential benefits.

We want to reverse this.

SIGN UP to the campaign and help boost local clean energy for communities.

Below: Solar panels on a school in Exeter – if made law the Local Electricity Bill would allow schools and other civic buildings to benefit fully from the energy the generate

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[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/633782/Chapter_6.pdf (page 153)

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501292/eepReport2015_160205.pdf (page 5)

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jul/10/uk-energy-system-in-thrall-to-giant-utilities-customers-budget-renewables