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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Joe Otten

That this Council:-


(a)       is appalled by the latest round of excessive hikes in energy prices and believes these have been caused by the last Government, who took the market from seventeen operators to the dominance of the big six;


(b)       believes Liberal Democrats are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and therefore supports the measures being taken by Liberal Democrats in Government to tackle high energy bills, including:


(i)         the ground-breaking Green Deal, which was described by the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment as “fantastic news for Sheffield”;


(ii)        reversing the previous Government’s planned cut to Cold Weather Payments, which are targeted at the most vulnerable;


(iii)       promoting ‘collective switching’ and making it easier for households to switch providers;


(iv)       reducing fuel bills for 2 million families by up to £130 through the Warm Home Discount;


(v)        rolling out a ‘smart meter’ programme, which helps people save money and ensures energy companies meet demand more efficiently; and


(vi)       working with Ofgem to investigate and tackle the big six’s profits;


(c)        rejects spurious claims that rising energy prices are linked to green levies and highlights research which demonstrates that the Coalition Government’s climate change policies will save consumers roughly £166 in energy bills by 2020;


(d)       believes the Labour Party’s proposed price freeze is a con, which could risk blackouts and jeopardise green jobs as well as billions of pounds of investment in low carbon technology;


(e)       furthermore considers that energy companies will significantly hike prices in anticipation of a freeze and that in the long run a freeze will drive smaller operators out of the market, thereby reducing competition and actually upholding high prices;


(f)        recognises the work already undertaken by the Council to support local residents with energy bills including the previous Administration’s Free Insulation Scheme, which insulated over 28,000 homes in Sheffield, and the Big Sheffield Switch; and


(g)       however, calls on the current Administration to go further to support local residents struggling with high energy bills by:


(i)         utilising underspends in the Council capital programme to create a £1 million Local Climate Change Fund, to support community micro-generation projects;


(ii)        maximising the use of collective switching, by repeating the Big Sheffield Switch;


(iii)       promoting the Green Deal, by encouraging local residents to make use of free household assessments; and


(iv)       investigating the use of public health funding to support elderly residents with improved insulation.



Energy Prices (2)




At the request of Councillor Joe Otten (the mover of the Motion) and with the consent of the Council, the Notice of Motion Numbered 12 on the Summons for this meeting was withdrawn.