By giving power back to the people, we can ensure that everyone participates in our collective journey toward a sustainable future, argues Dr Jamie Wallis MP

Funding Residential Co-operative Power Production

We are facing the challenges of climate change whilst the desire for self-determination is also on the rise. In response to this, I am advocating for a policy that empowers individuals, safeguards our energy future, and solidifies our commitment to a sustainable tomorrow. This vision champions reform that is both innovative and pragmatic, encapsulating the essence of empowerment, economic prudence, and the responsible stewardship of our environment. At its core lies a call to reconsider our approach to funding residential co-operative power production, specifically by exempting green levies on individuals who choose to invest in their own renewables, no matter where they may be in the United Kingdom. This article explores the key points of this idea and its potential to reshape our energy landscape.

The Power of Consumer Ownership

The era of large-scale wind and solar energy has arrived in the United Kingdom, offering renewable electricity solutions. Distinctively, now, there is also the exciting opportunity for people to own a share of wind farms or solar parks. This ownership is not merely a financial transaction; it empowers individuals to actively participate in shaping the nation’s energy landscape, harkening back to the transformative privatisations of the 1980s. Consumer ownership of green energy assets goes beyond financial gains; it allows individuals to contribute significantly to the country’s environmental targets and experience tangible savings on their electricity bills.

The Green Levy Dilemma

However, a significant issue arises for consumers who invest in their renewable power production: they incur energy levies integrated directly into their electricity bills. These levies, including contracts for difference, feed-in tariffs, and green levies, effectively subsidise the green power consumption of others, acting as a deterrent to investment in consumer-owned residential co-operative power. This counterintuitive outcome stifles personal ownership of vital UK infrastructure.

The Proposal: Exemption from Levies

The proposed solution is simple yet powerful: consumers who own shares in off-site renewable power production should be exempted from these levies, potentially reducing their bills by up to 44%. Such an exemption would create a compelling incentive for consumers to invest in their own green power sources, unlocking a new wave of personal private ownership of UK infrastructure.

Addressing potential concerns about cost impact, it’s essential to note that these energy levy and tax exemptions only come into play when consumers invest in their energy assets. If adoption remains low, there would be no additional costs to the Treasury or other consumers. However, even with a moderate adoption rate, the cost impact is relatively small and deferred.

A Path to Energy Independence and Resilience

Beyond financial and logistical benefits, this proposal positions the UK on a path to energy independence and resilience against global energy price shocks, as demonstrated by recent international conflicts. In a post-Brexit Britain, it exemplifies the public’s desire to take control of their energy future, financial wellbeing, and contribution to a more sustainable world.

Fostering Unity and Economic Growth

This initiative has the power to foster a sense of collective purpose and unity as communities come together to invest in their common future. It can also act as a catalyst for innovation and job creation, spurring research and development in the UK renewables sector and generating employment and economic growth across the country.

In a world grappling with climate change challenges and a desire for self-determination, this proposal is a testament to our ability to take control of our lives. It is a declaration that the people of the United Kingdom are not mere spectators in the energy future but its authors and protagonists.

In Conclusion

The proposal to exempt green levies on individuals who choose to invest in their renewables is not just a fiscal proposition; it is a transformative vision. It empowers individuals, safeguards our energy future, and reinforces our commitment to a fairer and more resilient tomorrow. By giving power back to the people, we can ensure that everyone participates in our collective journey toward a sustainable future, one in which we are truly energy independent.

Dr Jamie Wallis MP

Dr Jamie Wallis MP has been the Member of Parliament for Bridgend and Porthcawl since 2019. He is the first Conservative to represent the constituency since 1987 and is also a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.