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26th May, 2022

Wychavon backs 'Power to the People' campaign to supply renewable energy to local people

WYCHAVON District Council is backing moves to make it easier for communities to sell renewable energy to local people.

Councillors agreed at a meeting last Wednesday to officially support the ‘Power for People’ campaign, behind the proposed Local Electricity Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament.

Wychavon will also be writing to local MPs Nigel Huddleston, Harriett Baldwin and Rachel Maclean to encourage them to add their support to the 267 MPs already backing the law change.

The Bill would introduce a duty on energy market regulator Ofgem to create a Right to Local supply. As part of that, set-up costs for new and existing community energy companies would have to be proportionate to the size of their business.

Currently, community energy companies face costs and regulations running to millions of pounds regardless of how much electricity they will generate and sell.

Campaigners say the change in the law would pave the way for schools with solar panels, local wind farms or even housing estates to come together to sell any excess renewable energy they generate directly to local people through a community energy company.

At the moment, they must sell it to an energy company who then passes it on to their customers.

The bill would be a major boost for efforts to increase the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy. Wychavon has a target to triple renewable energy generation in the district to 324,735 megawatt hours by 2030.

The amount of energy generated from renewable technology in the district has already increased by 66 per cent between 2016 and 2019 to 179,616 megawatt hours.

Coun Emma Stokes, Wychavon’s executive board member for environment, said councillors were delighted to back the important campaign which could see local renewable energy created for local people.

“This would have a significant impact on our ambitions to cut our greenhouse gas emissions and I urge MPs, from all sides, to get behind this and make sure it becomes law.”

Coun Ed Cohen, who proposed the approved motion, said: β€œAt the moment the cost of setting up community energy companies are so huge that it makes it impossible.

“It is the same as someone wanting to sell cakes they bake at home having to pay millions of pounds to use the entire road network instead of just the road tax for their delivery van.”

Visit powerforpeople.org.uk for more on the campaign.

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