Local power for local people

Community-scale renewable energy is being blocked by government regulations, disproportionate costs, and other restrictions that are hindering local energy initiatives.

Below is a copy of a message we'd like to share from Steve Shaw from Power for People, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for clean energy for local communities. Tring in Transition's own local energy initiatives have been hindered by restrictive legislation and we support Power for People's campaigns. Local Electricity Bill Campaign

I am contacting you to ask you to join our campaign for the Local Electricity Bill.

The campaign is trying to solve the problem, that I am sure you are all too familiar with, that community energy groups are unable to sell their energy directly to local members and local residents because of the huge costs and bureaucracy involved in becoming a licensed supplier. The Local Electricity Bill aims to address this.

So how does it do that? The Bill creates a Right to Local Supply that would make the costs and bureaucracy of supplying energy locally proportionate to the scale of the community energy group’s supply operation. This would mean, for example, that a community energy group that chose to set itself up to supply directly to residents in its local village would face a smaller cost and admin burden than another community energy group wanting to supply directly to all the local residents and businesses in the three nearest towns.

Imagine the benefits this would bring – your organisation will be able to sell its energy to your local members and residents! Community energy would be transformed across the country! Local community energy groups would spring up everywhere. Think of all the new local jobs, clean energy and more resilient local economies.

This is already happening in places like Greece and Spain and we want to make it law here. By supporting the campaign you will be helping create this great change.

You can view the Bill here. We have also written a detailed guide on it here which explains how it works in depth and answers questions relating network costs, regulatory mechanisms etc.

I and my fellow campaigners here at Power for People drafted the Bill. Our campaign has made a great start – getting the Bill introduced in Parliament in September last year and 108 MPs on board (see a list of these MPs here) – but the campaign needs your help.

This very good level of Parliamentary support, built up in just eight months, shows that the campaign can succeed. But to do so requires the support of well over 325 MPs (i.e. more than half the House of Commons). We know this from experience – we ran the campaigns that got the Climate Change Act, the Warm Homes Act and the Doorstep Recycling Act into law.

The more groups and people that join the campaign and lobby their MP, the greater the chances of success. This is the number one reason why I am contacting you.

Also, we would like to hear your views on the Bill. Its wording is not fixed, there will be opportunities for redrafting and we are seeking input from community groups and experts. Some have suggested including a requirement that only not-for-profit companies, along with co-operatives, can become local energy suppliers. We are well aware that several smaller supply companies went under in last 12 months and so we want to involve you and others in getting the final version right.

Please do the following to help this campaign:

  1. Sign up to support the campaign. You can do this by simply replying to this email with a ‘yes’ or by signing up on our website here. This is free and means that we will be able to contact you and ask you to write to your local MP – I will be in touch with a suggested letter.

  2. Pass this email on to those involved in community energy or indeed anyone you know who may want to support the campaign.

  3. Send me any feedback you have by replying to this email. I would be really interested to hear any comments or questions you have on the Bill, or your personal experiences and challenges relating to community energy.

Together we can transform things.

Yours sincerely

Steve Shaw,  Director,  Power for People


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