Labour Announces National Grid Takeover Plan – Bring Energy Home Plan
The Labour Party intends to usher in a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ by taking the National Grid into public ownership with the Bring Energy Home plan. The plans calls for a new National Energy Agency that would own and operate all of the transmission infrastructure.
Labour also claimed its nationalisation pledge would effectively tackle climate change. Part of the plan includes providing solar panels for nearly two million homes. These would be mostly installed on social housing and on the properties of those with low-incomes.
The Bring Energy Home plan also claims it will create over 400,000 new jobs.
Energy Networks to Tackle Climate Change and Fuel Poverty
Labour’s ambitious plan would use solar panels to reduce fuel bills for the most needy. They would also offer interest-free loans and grants to enable another 750,000 properties to install solar panels. In addition to this, Labour intends to make changes to regulations which will make the installation of solar panels easier.
Electricity generated by such solar panels that wasn’t used in the home would then be used by National Grid.
A spokesperson for Labour said, “Energy networks that are owned by the public and responsive to the public interest will be able to prioritise tackling climate change, fuel poverty and security of supply over profit extraction, while working with energy unions to support energy workers through the transition.”
However, not everyone was entirely convinced by the plan.
National Grid Claim Renationalisation Would Hinder Green Energy
National Grid’s Chief Executive, John Pettigrew, has said he doesn’t believe the Labour proposals are in the interests of customers. He also believes the Bring Energy Home plan could actually hinder Britain’s move towards more sustainable energy usage.
Mr Pettigrew said, “It is very clear that [the plan] will not either accelerate the decarbonisation agenda in the UK, nor will it result in lower costs for customers. It will delay the decarbonisation in the UK and potentially increase costs for customers.”
National Grid recently reported a £1.8 billion annual profit, which is a massive decrease from the previous year. Their numbers for the period from March to March are actually down by almost a third on the previous period. They blamed the shortfall on the two nuclear projects that were cancelled (in Cumbria and Wales) and cost-raising storms. Another major financial loss was caused by a labour dispute at its US-based business that lasted seven months.
Defending the poor recent record of National Grid, Mr Pettigrew said they were in the middle of a huge transformation. He also claimed they were investing heavily in the network infrastructure.
Cheaper Energy Bills for Working Class People
Labour’s long term plan is to replace what they call ‘private monopolies’ with publicly owned and locally run institutions.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “Our Green Industrial Revolution will benefit working class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding well paid jobs, and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long.”
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