Community energy groups lobby MPs over cuts

More than 30 community energy groups across the South West have today told their MPs that cuts to renewable energy subsidies will lead to job losses in their constituencies.

The lobbying was part of the SW Community Energy Day of Action on 16 October, which was organized by Regen SW.

Four community groups in Totnes hand delivered more than 60 letters to local MP, Sarah Wollaston, warning that the jobs and investment renewable energy has brought to the local area are at risk of being lost.

“The message MPs across the South West will hear today from their local communities today is clear: unless they act now thousands of people will lose their jobs and investment in new energy projects will disappear,” said Regen SW Chief Executive, Merlin Hyman.

Ian Bright, Managing Director of TRESOC, said: “Across the country, from solar rooftops in Brixton to hydro power plant in Totnes, concerned and informed citizens are driving exponential growth in the community energy sector. The Government should carefully consider the impacts of the proposed drastic reduction in Feed in Tariff payments on the community energy sector and the wider UK economy.”

And Alastair Mumford, Director of Exeter Community Energy, said: “It is exciting to know we are part of a grassroots movement in the south west challenging the government’s drastic cuts to support for renewable energy. Hugo Swires MP has agreed to raise our concerns and has tabled Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State, Amber Rudd MP.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues