5 September 2023
Peter Aldous backs Energy Bill

Peter Aldous urges Parliament to pass the Energy Bill quickly to enable the Government to deliver on the UK's 2050 net zero targets, enhance energy security, and create jobs particularly in coastal areas like Lowestoft.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)

The Bill has an important role to play in ensuring that we meet our 2050 net zero targets, enhancing our energy security and creating new jobs, particularly in coastal communities such as the constituency I represent. In driving forward the measures in the Bill, I urge the Government to have in mind the following parameters.

First, we need to pursue a strategic approach to the provision of infrastructure while maximising the leveraging-in of the enormous amount of much-needed private sector investment that will be required. Secondly, the Bill’s framework needs to be sufficiently flexible to allow all regions of the UK to play their full role in the transition. It has been estimated that by 2035, East Anglia’s renewable and low-carbon energy supply portfolio could power the equivalent of 90% of the UK’s homes. In our area, we need a recognition of the role we will play.

Finally, the Government need to rural-proof their policies, as articulated by my right hon. Friend the Member for Camborne and Redruth (George Eustice) and the hon. Member for Gower (Tonia Antoniazzi).

Community energy has an important contribution to make in boosting clean energy generation and in offering people the opportunity to benefit from agreeing to host new energy infrastructure. Therefore, the announcement of the new £10 million community energy fund is to be welcomed. However, it is important that the Government monitor very closely the fund’s impact and whether it is successful in unblocking more community-owned projects. If it is not, they need to bring forward further measures, such as the amendments that were proposed in the other place.


I also take note of the amendments that have been tabled highlighting the need to support vulnerable households and promoting a social tariff. Although this Bill may not be the right place for promoting these policies, that does not mean that the concerns raised are not valid and very real. The cost of living crisis is still with us. We are not out of the woods and I urge Ministers to liaise with their counterparts in the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that appropriate support measures are in place.

It is not before time that we are considering this Bill. We need to get on with it, get it on the statute book as quickly as possible and then get on with the task of delivery.