David and Goliath

The Community Energy Revolution

You want to buy locally baked bread? You can. You want to buy locally brewed beer? You can. You want to buy locally generated renewable energy? You can’t. Power for People are co-ordinating grassroots advocacy across the UK for the Local Electricity Bill.

The Campaign

The Community Energy Revolution campaign aims to unblock the remarkable potential for community energy schemes to flourish across the UK, creating new jobs, lowering energy bills, and generating money for community benefit.

Currently, legislative barriers block community energy schemes from receiving a fair price for the electricity they contribute to an energy system in desperate need of homegrown energy. As a result, community renewable energy accounts for only 0.5% of the UK’s electricity generation. Experts agree that – if the governing rules were to change – community renewable energy could account for 10% of all the UK’s electricity.

The Local Electricity Bill, if enacted, would empower community energy schemes to sell their clean energy back to their community.

awards

The Community Energy Revolution’s APPG event in Parliament, November 2022. Panel speakers from left to right, Tom Fyans (CPRE’s Interim CEO), Hilary Benn MP, David Johnston MP, Steve Shaw (Power for People Director), Will Handford (The National Trust’s Renewable Energy Programme Director) and Wera Hobhouse MP.

Thank you to the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. The Community Energy Revolution campaign would not have the impressive support it currently has in Parliament without the tireless advocacy of people in communities across the country. We have come a long way but are still working hard to see this change enacted – it is vital both for our communities and for the planet.”

awards

The Community Energy Revolution’s APPG event in Parliament, November 2022. Panel speakers from left to right, Tom Fyans (CPRE’s Interim CEO), Hilary Benn MP, David Johnston MP, Steve Shaw (Power for People Director), Will Handford (The National Trust’s Renewable Energy Programme Director) and Wera Hobhouse MP.

Thank you to the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. The Community Energy Revolution campaign would not have the impressive support it currently has in Parliament without the tireless advocacy of people in communities across the country. We have come a long way but are still working hard to see this change enacted – it is vital both for our communities and for the planet.”

The Change

The campaign is mobilising nationwide advocacy from individuals, community groups, local organisations, and local councils in communities across the UK for the Local Electricity Bill to be made law. They equip supporters with the skills and confidence needed to engage with their MP and have brought on board nearly half the country’s MPs, who have then gone on to advocate for the Bill in Parliament as a result.

It has made promising progress, building support from 318 MPs, including 126 Conservatives, and the public backing of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party.

This has empowered communities to influence the rules governing the energy system that, so far, they have often been totally subservient to, giving a new voice to existing community energy groups that face such harsh government policy.

The Future

Imagine a future where you can purchase clean electricity directly from a local supply company or cooperative. Where every pound spent powering your home or car supports local jobs and helps fund new facilities and services for your community or contributes to further renewable energy infrastructure. The Local Electricity Bill, if enacted, would lead to a virtuous circle in communities across the UK, ensuring that everyone supports and benefits from the clean energy transition. Communities could then invest the revenues from local energy generation into local priorities, such as home energy efficiency, fuel poverty relief and low carbon public transport infrastructure.

Who else was involved?

The campaign is supported by a cross-party group of 318 MPs as well as thousands of individuals, community groups, local organisations and local councils across the UK – they are the backbone of this campaign. The campaign built a large and diverse coalition of national organisations including Greenpeace, The National Trust, WWF and Friends of the Earth. It is because of their tireless efforts pushing for this legislation that we have come this far, but we have not won yet. Persistence is key to success.