SALISBURY City Council has unanimously given its support to a campaign to encourage the generation of locally produced energy.

The local electricity bill, which has received cross-party support from MPs, looks to enable local electricity generators to become suppliers in the community.

Putting forward a motion to support the bill, Cllr Paul Sample spoke of the massive increases in fuel prices as a result of the Ukraine war and the “very large number of people in the city of Salisbury and its environs” affected and in fuel poverty as a result of the rising prices.

He explained that if local authorities are given the power to issue licences it would support local businesses - helping them generate renewable energy.

Cllr Sample hoped the city council would be able to put solar panels on their buildings where appropriate.

Cllr Charles McGrath was in support of the motion and asked whether the council could offer itself as one of these local suppliers.

While Cllr Sven Hocking pointed out that if the council were to become a local energy supplier it should make sure the panels are switched on. Adding: “Remember that when we fitted the solar panels on the roof of the Guildhall it did take us several years to realise we hadn’t actually connected them. We just need to keep a handle on what we’re doing.”

If the bill was made law it would establish a Right to Local Supply, promoting local renewable electricity supply by making the set up and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate to the size of the supply company.

The council at its meeting on June 27 also agreed to write to Salisbury MP John Glen, to lobby for his support for the bill, and also write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, to express its support for the Local Electricity Bill.

The council will also write to the organisers of the campaign behind the Local Electricity Bill, Power for People expressing its support.


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