Dear Lord Callanan
I urge you most urgently to support these two amendments to the energy bill 237 and 238. I have been working in the community energy field for a long time and we need to reduce the market barriers for community groups and give them more certainty. From my experience they are key to achieving zero carbon as they not only keep the financial benefits of energy schemes’ local, they also encourage people to reduce their carbon impact. We have a lot to do to keep global warming below catastrophic levels.
Why have community energy schemes recently ground to a halt?
I believe this is largely due to current energy market and licensing rules. The recent Government interventions have been attempted but have failed to reverse the slump in new projects. The “Smart Export Guarantee”, which places a requirement on larger existing electricity suppliers to purchase power from small schemes, has no guaranteed purchase price or length of contract, making community investment almost impossible.
What should be done?
Support the amendments to the Energy Bill numbers 237 and 238.
A Community Electricity Export Guarantee: a right for sites that generate low carbon electricity with a capacity below 5 megawatts to export their electricity to an existing electricity supplier on fair terms (Amendment Number 237).
A Community 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 238).
Here at Hockerton Housing Project we have helped many community groups in the past and if you would like to see some of these you would be most welcome.
Please see Sustainable Hockerton and its community wind turbine.
Mr S Tilley, CEng MEng MIMechE
Director, Hockerton Housing Project Trading Ltd