If the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, is true to his word then every Town Hall in Kent and Medway could become a mini power station. Steve Dawe comments:
“The Energy Minister has announced plans that will allow Councils to install renewable energy power units such as wind turbines, solar panels and other forms of natural energy power and to feed the power into the National Grid for a cash return. The money generated could be used to limit Council tax increases.
“Kent Green Party welcomes this move in principle. The legal ban on Councils supplying electricity imposed in 1976 was absurd. Removing this barrier would mean that each Council in Kent and Medway would no longer have to work through other organisations to generate power but could now press on directly with developing money saving schemes.
“Several Councils have already developed renewable energy schemes that can generate over 600,000kwh of wind, tidal or solar energy locally but the present Local Government Act prevents local councils from selling electricity not produced alongside heat.
“Kent Green Party is concerned that Mr Huhne’s proposal may be watered down after lobbying from the energy companies who fear real competition. Prior to 1948, Local Council produced gas and electricity was a common sight in England. There is also a general problem of scarce funds for such investment given excessive cuts already imposed upon and planned for local government.”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.