Guest blog by Emma Hughes, Switched On London
It’s that time of year again – limp sandwiches, autumn sunshine (or most likely rain) and a very pebbly beach – it must be Labour Party Conference. This year I’m particularly excited to be part of Repowering Britain, a space dedicated to reimagining Britain’s energy futures – we’re talking warm homes, smart cities, new industry, radical democracy and clean energy.
In late 2015 Switched on London launched with one demand – a publicly owned London energy company that delivers clean, affordable fuel for the capital – putting people before profit. The demand felt bold and innovative, pushing London to a be a leader on the climate transition.
In the space of two years municipal energy has become a reality, as councils like Nottingham and Bristol set up their own energy companies and the Labour Party manifesto pledged to set up a publicly owned, locally accountable company in every region of the UK.
The Winning Power session will feature some pioneers of council run municipal supply with Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, Steve Battlemuch, director of Robin Hood Energy and Claudia Webbe Cabinet Lead for Energy in Islington all speaking about their experiences.
Two years ago local, public energy offered a radical break in the stranglehold of the Big Six. With the success of council run companies, it’s time to be bigger and bolder in our vision for municipal energy. Local suppliers have already proven their success at providing affordable energy – Robin Hood Energy pushed down prices in the East Midlands by an average of £78 per year when they entered the market – and at providing green fuel. Our own modelling has shown that a utility company run by the London Mayor could save Londoners £159 off their bills a year.
We should now be looking at what else municipal energy can make happen: long-term investments in renewables, decent jobs and local accountability – giving people a meaningful say over the energy they consume.
Energy is a right and a common resource. It’s something we should all able to access and get a say in. The privatised energy market hasn’t just given us eye-watering bills, it’s also put us at the end of a very long supply chain where we don’t have the power to decide which fuel we consume, where it comes from or how much we pay for it.
Publicly owned energy gives us that power.
Join us at:
Winning with Public Power: municipal energy can end fuel poverty and accelerate climate action
Date: Tuesday 26th September
Time: 17:15 – 18:30
46-48 King’s Road
Speakers: Cllr Steve Battlemuch (Director of Robin Hood Energy), Cllr Claudia Webbe (Islington – Cabinet Lead for Energy), Andy Cumbers (Adam Smith Business School), Emma Hughes (Switched on London), Cllr Jon Burke (Cabinet Member for Energy, Hackney Council), Marvin Rees (Mayor of Bristol)