Power for People – February 2023 Update

A new Government-published report – the ‘Net Zero Review’ – has backed exactly what we are campaigning for. Its leading recommendation for more clean community energy: “Government should commit to the Local Electricity Bill.”

It says: “Current regulations in the energy market mean that community energy projects cannot directly supply local communities, an issue which the Local Electricity Bill seeks to address.”

But despite this Government-published report recommending that they themselves support the Bill, they continue to say it is not needed.

Active advocacy in Parliament by our MPs can help change the Government’s mind. We have seen that local constituents meeting with their MP is a very effective way of creating this.

Will you please meet with your MP? We will support and guide you with the organising and provide a briefing to help you feel confident and prepared. You do not need to be an expert on the issue. I can come along with you too, which has worked well when other supporters have met with their MPs.

Please click here if you are interested.

This campaign has come so far in building support to over 300 MPs. Let’s keep the momentum going so that we can enable communities to take control of local clean energy generation.

Together we can transform things.

ULEZ Expansion – Scrappage Scheme Information

The £110 million fund has been designed to support Londoners on certain lower incomes, disabled Londoners, London-based charities, sole traders and business with 10 or fewer employees prepare for the expansion of Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide on 29 August this year. Successful applicants will receive funding to scrap or retrofit their old, polluting vehicle.

To accompany the scrappage scheme, the Mayor and TfL are also announcing a range of ULEZ support offers from businesses for all Londoners, including additional exclusive offers for successful applicants of the scrappage scheme. This will enable Londoners to benefit from discounts and promotions on subscriptions, rentals and purchases of bicycles, e-bikes, cargo bikes, cars and vans.

It follows the Mayor’s decision to expand the ULEZ London-wide from August. Already around 85 per cent of vehicles seen driving in outer London meet the standards, meaning the majority of drivers will not need to pay. The new scrappage scheme and grace periods will help drivers of the remaining non-compliant vehicles prepare.

Londoners receiving certain means-tested benefits and non-means-tested disability benefits can apply for cash grants of up to £2,000 to scrap their non-compliant cars or motorcycles. As a new feature, successful applicants can also choose to receive a higher value package comprised of up to two free annual bus and tram passes and a lower cash grant.

Disabled people who want to scrap or retrofit a non-compliant wheelchair accessible vehicle will be able to apply for grants of £5,000 to reflect the higher cost of these vehicles. Disabled people can also apply for a nominated driver if they do not drive themselves. The nominated driver does not need to live at the same address as the applicant.

Charities, sole traders and business with 10 or fewer employees registered in London can apply to scrap a van (£5,000 grant) or a minibus (£7,000 grant), retrofit certain vans or minibuses (£5,000 grant) or scrap and replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle (£7,500 or £9,500 grant respectively).

In addition to the scrappage scheme, further support will be provided for disabled people, through new and extended grace periods. The two new grace periods provide exemptions until October 2027 for recipients of certain disability benefits (or their nominated driver) and for all wheelchair accessible vehicles and some vehicles with other adaptations. The grace periods are available to all eligible people regardless of whether they live in London, and they will apply to the current ULEZ zone as well once approved.

The new disabled benefits grace period means that anyone who receives benefits that automatically make them eligible for a blue badge will also qualify for the new grace period. More Londoners currently claim benefits that would make them eligible for this grace period than currently hold a blue badge.

For further information, click here.

Power for People – January Update

On the Monday before Christmas, we made another stride forward in our campaign to create dramatic growth in community renewable energy generation.

This time the setting was the House of Lords, where our two amendments to the Government’s Energy Bill were debated. To recap, these amendments are based on our Local Electricity Bill, which would enable community energy schemes to sell their clean power to local people, thus triggering a surge in community renewable energy generation.

We likely have enough support in the House of Lords to win a vote on our two amendments at the next stage of the Energy Bill, which will probably be in early February.

If this happens, it would mean that the Energy Bill would come to the House of Commons, probably around March, with our community energy enabling powers contained in it. And with all opposition parties and 125 Conservative MPs lined up in support because of our nationwide public campaign, we are in a strong position to see what we are calling for ultimately pass into law.

After a much-needed bit of Christmas rest, we are now working to bring Ministers and Whitehall officials to the negotiating table.

Thank you very much for your invaluable support. It will likely get tougher from here on out. We have come this far largely because ever more people have lobbied their MP. So we need to keep building our numbers.

Over 300 MPs are already supportive, but more are needed. Could you please join us in signing up to the campaign and writing to your MP?:


Power for People – December 2022 Update

Exciting news! – The Government’s Energy Bill has been revived and is now back in the House of Lords.

This means that the amendments that we had tabled to it, intended to unlock community energy across the UK, are back as well.

The amendments proposed would provide small-scale renewable energy generators with a guaranteed price for their electricity and allow them to sell that electricity locally. You can read more about them on our blog by clicking here.

Power for People have devised two amendments to the Government’s Energy Bill for consideration at Committee Stage (which commenced on 5th September). They take forward the ideas of the Local Electricity Bill, backed by 311 MPs of all major parties.

The amendments were tabled by Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green) alongside Baroness Boycott (Crossbench), Lord Teverson (Liberal Democrat) and Baroness Young of Old Scone (Labour). Combined we believe they would go a long way in realising community energy’s huge potential.

We encourage Peers to please vote in favour.


Power for People Update November 2022

Local engagement in this campaign has really been such a game changer. It is so important to have supporters from the grassroots pushing this Bill to the top of the political tray.

That was Wera Hobhouse MP at our first community energy event in Parliament last week.

Ms Hobhouse sat on a panel with Hilary Benn MP, David Johnston MP, Will Handford (The National Trust’s Renewable Energy Programme Director), Tom Fyans (CPRE’s Interim CEO) and our Director Steve Shaw.

With all seats taken, people were packed in, crowded out the door and down the corridor. Some MPs and Peers who turned up were unable to physically enter the room – some stood in the corridor listening for over an hour, whilst others came back at the end to speak with us, offering to do more to help. This was a real show of the campaign’s strength in the halls of Parliament.

Halfway through the evening during the Q&A, Labour’s Energy Minister Dr Alan Whitehead announced that the Labour Front Bench are fully behind our improved version of the Local Electricity Bill, which we plan to have introduced into Parliament imminently (more info on that soon).

Thank you for backing this campaign and believing in it. As Wera Hobhouse said, you are the strength of this campaign. We have 312 MPs on board now but we need more support and activity to get the Government onside and see this over the line.

Click here to join our next Question Time

Save the date: we host a monthly session to answer your questions and discuss any updates to the campaign. It would be great to see you there on Monday 21st November at 5:30pm