Closed petition Nationalise Energy Companies

The Government needs to take back ownership of strategic energy assets. It needs to accept that the Free Market has failed the energy sector, that it is in the national interest to renationalise our energy assets. The Government must therefore renationalise all the UK energy assets.

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People are already having to choose whether to heat or eat. Token gestures of mandatory loans & stripping local authorities of much needed monies to mitigate bulk cost increases, mismanagement of the energy sector & the whim of the market are not good enough. This country needs a 25 year strategic plan and needs to be guided away from unstable fossil fuel dependancy. The Government needs to own the energy assets in order to achieve this, tackle climate change & protect service users interests.

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Government responded

This response was given on 1 September 2022

The Government does not agree that nationalisation of energy assets is the right approach. Properly regulated markets provide the best outcome for consumers as a driver of efficiency and innovation.

The Government does not agree that nationalisation of the country’s strategic energy assets is the right approach. A renationalised energy company would still have to buy the same expensive gas on global markets, so prices won't be lowered. Furthermore, if the Government renationalised energy companies, the British taxpayer would have to compensate directors, shareholders, and creditors to the tune of tens of billions of pounds – money that would be better spent supporting families.

In the 1970s, nationalised utilities run by politicians were in a bad state. These monopolies made considerable losses, were inefficient and needed considerable investment to upgrade age-old infrastructure. Since privatisation in the 1980s, the UK’s energy system has attracted hundreds of billions of pounds in private capital – money that otherwise would have had to come from higher taxes or additional borrowing. This investment improved performance and reliability of Britain’s energy network and offered consumers greater choice and higher standards of products and services.

The Government therefore continues to believe that properly regulated markets, which incentivise private capital to invest in the energy system, provide the best outcome for consumers and promote market competition as the best driver of efficiency, innovation and value. This approach has served consumers well since energy privatisation, catalysing billions of pounds of investment and improving performance and reliability and offering consumers greater choice and higher standards of products and services.

The Government has set out a comprehensive long-term plan for greater energy independence. The more clean, affordable power we generate within our borders, the less exposed we will be to eye watering fossil fuel prices set by global markets we can’t control.

Through our Energy Security Strategy, we are working to our vulnerability to international oil and gas prices by reducing our dependence on expensive oil and gas. We will do this by accelerating the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen, whilst supporting North Sea oil and gas in the nearer term for security of supply.

Nationalisation will not solve the current challenge of high global fossil fuel prices and the impact this is having on the cost of energy. The Government has set out a comprehensive long-term plan for the energy system through the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and Energy White Paper, both of 2020, and the British Energy Security Strategy of 2022. These present a vision for how Britain can enjoy secure, clean and affordable home-grown energy for the long term. In particular, the Energy Security Strategy charts a pathway to address our vulnerability to international oil and gas prices, by reducing our dependence on imported oil and gas.

Nevertheless, the Government recognises that households and businesses across the UK are rightly concerned about rising energy bills. We are taking action at an unprecedented scale.

The Government is providing £37 billion of support this year, targeted at those who are most in need with the cost of living. This includes a £15 billion Energy Bill Support Scheme, worth up to £400 each for around 28 million households. In addition, targeted support includes:

• More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650

• Over 8 million pensioner households which receive the Winter Fuel Payment will also receive a £300 Cost of Living Payment

• Six million households which receive disability support will receive £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

Alongside this the Government is investing over £6.6 billion over this parliament to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise heating. We will deliver upgrades to over half a million homes in the coming years through our Social Housing Decarbonisation, Home Upgrade Grant Schemes and Energy Company Obligation Scheme, delivering average bill savings of £300.

Meanwhile, we have extended the Energy Company Obligation 2022 to 2026, boosting its value from £640 million to £1 billion a year. This is helping an extra 450,000 families with green measures such as insulation.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Other parliamentary business

MPs investigate the impact of rising energy prices on consumers

MPs on the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee have launched an inquiry into energy pricing and the future of the energy market. The inquiry is looking at how policy and regulation have contributed to rising energy prices. The inquiry is also examining the effect of price rises on consumers, and the operation of the energy price cap.

Find out more about the Committee's inquiry: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1698/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market/news/159559/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market-inquiry-launched/

The Committee is considering the following issues:

  • Regulation of the energy market

  • The effectiveness of Ofgem as a regulator

  • The effectiveness of the 'energy price cap'

  • The costs to consumers when energy suppliers fail

Why has the Committee launched this inquiry?

The Committee’s inquiry on the retail energy market follows unprecedented increases in wholesale energy prices since the summer and with a number of firms going out of business, including Bulb, Britain’s seventh-biggest supplier with 1.6 million households as customers.

Keep up to date on the Committee's inquiry

Updates on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee's inquiry into energy pricing and the future of the energy market marine mammals, including upcoming evidence sessions, will be published here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1698/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market/

You can also follow the committee on Twitter for updates on its work: https://twitter.com/CommonsBEIS

What is the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee?

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that look into the work of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and their associated public bodies.

Find out more about the committee on its website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/365/business-energy-and-industrial-strategy-committee/

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is a select committee. Find out how select committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

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