Labour want to install two million solar panels to cut your energy bills

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Nearly two million homes would be fitted with electricity-generating solar panels under a future Labour government.

The move could provide free energy and save low-income households an average of £117 a year on their bills, rising to £270 for retirees.

Any unused electricity generated by the programme would be used by the National Grid which would be renationalised, the party said.

Jeremy Corbyn said: “In this country, too often people are made to feel like the cost of saving the planet falls on them. 

“Too many think of green measures as just another way for companies or the government to get money out of them, while the rich fly about in private jets and heat their empty mansions.

“Labour’s approach is different. By focusing on low income households we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy.”

Mr Corbyn has confirmed that Labour would bring the National Grid back into public ownership

 

It came as Labour published plans to hand responsibility for the UK’s power networks to streets, villages and housing estates. 

But the move is controversial because shareholders that own the National Grid would be unlikely to be paid the market value for their assets, estimated at £64 billion. 

Matthew Fell of the Confederation of British Industry said: “As drafted, these proposals amount to hanging a ‘closed’ sign above the UK”.

He warned that renationalisation could hit the pockets of nearly six million pensioners whose funds would be affected by speculation. 

A National Grid spokeswoman said the proposals would delay progress already being made to move to green energy.

“At a time when there is increased urgency to meet the challenges of climate change the last thing that is needed is the enormous distraction, cost and complexity contained in these plans,” she said.

Under Labour’s plans, a million social homes and low-income households would get free solar panels funded by a five-year £2bn investment from its National Transformation Fund.

Labour say the plans will save people money on their energy bills

An additional £350 million would allow another 500,000 householders to install the panels if they chose to, worth an average £780 per household. 

They would get an interest free loan to pay for the system upfront, which would save them money by generating their own electricity. 

A Labour administration would then top up the difference between the cost of the loan repayments and the money saved, in grant form, over a 15-year period. 

The party also proposes changing regulations so that 250,000 landlords with energy inefficient homes would have to install the panels, if they had the roof space. They would qualify for an interest-free loan. 

Mr Corbyn also confirmed that Labour would bring the National Grid into public ownership, with a complex system of national, regional and municipal energy agencies. 

A new National Energy Agency would own and maintain the transmission infrastructure while overseeing targets for decarbonisation, and protect energy as a “human right”.

It means that local people could be handed responsibility for operating and maintaining the electricity cables and meters that supply their homes.

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