Philip Wilson of Chichester Labour has welcomed the announcement today that the next Labour government will take the National Grid out of the hands of private shareholders and radically transform it so it leads the way in decarbonising our economy. It follows the announcement today by Rebecca Long Bailey MP of the installation of solar panels on social housing which would benefit over 7,000 homes across Chichester District.
“Chichester District has enormous potential for renewable energy generation which can only be tapped with the proper political leadership from all of our Councils. Chichester Labour is committed to ensuring not only cheaper fuel bills but also energy efficiency and micro-generation and policy changes needed to see communities at the heart of our efforts to tackle climate change.”
Philip Wilson continued, “What is clear, is that with radical action being required over the next ten years to avert the worst effects of Climate Change, only Labour is in a position to deliver the political leadership and action required to tackle the climate crisis.”
The announcement today of radical plans to fit one and three quarter million homes with electricity-generating solar panels forms part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.
Labour’s plans will fit solar panels on over 7,000 social homes across Chichester District. With surplus micro-generation of electricity being used by the national grid, which Labour will take into public ownership, raising an additional £66m per year for local authorities.
Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business and Energy Secretary, responding to National Grid’s profit posting after Labour announced plans to bring it into public ownership, said: “These figures speak for themselves, and cut straight through the PR bluster. As a country we face a huge challenge to rapidly decarbonise our energy system while bringing costs down for households – and we simply cannot afford to continue with a privatised monopoly that puts the public at such a structural disadvantage.”
Privatisation of the UK’s energy grid has ripped off customers for too long. 25% of energy bills is paid out to network companies. This is used to line the pockets of shareholders, with over £13 billion paid out in dividends over the last five years.
Labour will not only end this rip off by bringing the grid into public ownership, it will also transform the grid by giving new public agencies the power and direct responsibility to deliver Labour’s ambitious climate change targets. Instead of pocketing excess profits, publicly owned networks will build out connections to parts of the country with high solar, wind and tidal potential, overcoming the bottlenecks, inefficiencies and underinvestment that has characterised private ownership.
Labour has announced the creation of two key local organisations to deliver these changes.
Municipal Energy Agencies (MEAs), MEAs will own and operate distribution networks, enabling them to integrate networks with local generation and supply. In addition, Labour will support the establishment of Local Energy Communities (LECs) to develop small scale energy generation and engage with distribution at the micro level (e.g. a housing estate, street or small village). LECs will be wholly community owned and non-profit making.
Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, said: “Climate change represents a risk to our future, but also an opportunity to gather our resources and transform it through a Green Industrial Revolution. That means dramatic, public driven and coordinated action, without which we simply will not be able to tackle climate change.
“Only by taking the grid into public ownership can we decarbonise the economy at the pace needed to secure the planet for our children and grandchildren while ending the rip off, creating good jobs in local communities and making heating and electricity a human right.
“That’s why public and collective ownership is a fundamental part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.”
"Only by taking the grid into public ownership can we decarbonise the economy at the pace needed to secure the planet for our children and grandchildren while ending the rip off, creating good jobs in local communities." Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary