Add your support for Community Energy projects

Add your support for Community Energy projects

The UK is lagging behind other countries in the amount of small-scale renewable energy we generate – especially by community energy groups who provide cheaper, greener power and distribute the benefits locally.

The brief explosion of community energy schemes – community-owned and run renewable energy generation projects – driven by the Feed-in Tariff has now dwindled to a trickle. This is despite renewable technologies being cheaper than ever and is largely the result of the prohibitive costs small-scale generators face in accessing markets to sell the electricity they produce.

The potential for community energy to benefit local economies is being blocked by unfair regulations and hugely disproportionate costs. 

Power For People have drafted the Local Electricity Bill and are campaigning for it to be made law. This would give small-scale renewable energy a massive boost by empowering communities to sell their energy directly to local people.

Together with leading industry experts, Power To People have developed two proposals for legislation to support community energy schemes, these are:

  1. A Community and Smaller-scale Electricity Export Guarantee Scheme: a right for sites that generate low carbon electricity with a capacity below 5 megawatts to export their electricity to an existing larger electricity supplier on fair terms (Amendment Number 134).
  2. A Community and Smaller-scale Electricity Supplier Services Scheme: a requirement on existing larger suppliers to work with community schemes to sell the power they generate to local customers. Existing suppliers can charge a fee for doing this, but that fee must be reasonable (Amendment Number 135).

After a successful vote in the House of Lords a few weeks ago, the campaign is making progress. The vote means that the legislation is now in the Government’s Energy Bill as clauses 272 and 273. The Energy Bill next moves to the House of Commons but we need to make sure the clauses stay in the bill.

If you think the UK would benefit from more community energy schemes please add your voice to the debate by writing to your MP and asking them to attend the Energy Bill’s Second Reading on 9th May and speak in favour of clauses 272 and 273 that enable community renewable energy.

A one-line email would be enough – the most important thing is that they hear from you.

Click here to write to your MP

The problem is well recognised, with 318 MPs from all parties backing the Local Electricity Bill, aimed at helping community groups sell the electricity they generate to local customers. The Bill is also supported by over 110 principal councils and over 80 national organisations including the National Trust, the Church of England, CPRE, the Energy Saving Trust, the RSPB, WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

community energy

The community energy sector could grow by 12-20 times by 2030, powering 2.2 million homes and saving 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. If achieved, this would take community-owned and run renewable energy generation to 10% of UK electricity generation (around 6,000 megawatts).

Ripple Energy are trailblazing a new model for community ownership of solar and wind farms – see our Ripple Energy review – but we still need the Local Electricity Bill to open up the community energy sector.