Bishop of Manchester asks about energy generation

The Bishop of Manchester asked the following question on 27th April 2022, during a debate on energy security:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, I declare my interest as both a Church Commissioner and a board member of a housing association. As things stand, a community with local renewable generation is not allowed to sell the energy it generates directly to local people. Instead, it has to sell it to a utility, which sells it on to customers, creating disproportionate costs. Moreover, community-level generation could be further promoted by ensuring that new housing developments include green energy or even a requirement that they place no increased demand on the grid by generating more of their energy needs. The Bible assures us that the sun shines on both the righteous and the unrighteous. Indeed, I can assure the Minister that it does so even in my notoriously rainy city of Manchester. Can he outline what will be done to promote greater take-up of community energy generation programmes?

Lord Callanan (Con): I thank the right reverend Prelate for saying that the sun shines on all of us—I am delighted to hear that. Community energy is important and we are supporting a number of community projects within Ofgem. I realise that there is a campaign to increase the take-up of community energy and we are in principle supportive of that. However, if those community energy projects also wish to be connected to the national grid and take advantage of other forms of energy and supply, it is right that they pay a proportionate share of costs for that. They are not insulating themselves from the national grid and from other forms of energy production and supply. Nevertheless, we want to see what we can do to support community energy, Ofgem is engaged in it, and we will look at what more we can do to help.


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