Poulter backs calls for local power supplies for smaller communities

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has added his voice to calls for a reform of the electricity supply market to allow locally-generated power to be bought by communities.

The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP has joined his Waveney colleague Peter Aldous in supporting a new Bill in Parliament that would help rebuild local economies while increasing clean energy generation.

Other supporters of the Bill include former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, LibDem interim leader Sir Ed Davey and Green MP Caroline Lucas.

The proposed new law, known as the Local Electricity Bill, is supported by 187 MPs from all parties. 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.

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.

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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, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB. A total of 44 local authorities have also pledged their support.

Dr Poulter said: “The Local Electricity Bill will empower and enable new community energy companies to sell energy that they generate directly to local people which will help strengthen local economies.

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“This is urgently needed given the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bill will also help accelerate our transition to clean energy, which is critical in avoiding the potential economic and ecological devastation of climate change. I will continue to do all that I can to ensure it becomes law.”

Power for People’s Director Steve Shaw said: “We thank Dr Poulter for supporting the Local Electricity Bill. If made law, the Bill would unleash the huge potential for new community-owned clean energy infrastructure and for this to boost local economies, jobs, services, and facilities in communities across the country.”

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