Letter to The Independent

Letter to The Independent
Seven Third Sector Leaders in England
03.10.13

It would be tragic if our national debate about energy returned us to the 1970s via a showdown between state intervention and big business.

Energy is where Britain can tackle serious economic problems at the same time as tackling social problems, as well as our large and growing democratic deficit. There is a growing community-energy industry in this country where neighbours are collaborating, creating jobs and growing their social capital as well as economic power. There are social investors helping them flourish. Recent research suggests that community energy could grow to 89 times its current size if existing barriers were lowered. There is much to learn from the way other countries are developing their own community energy and renewables at a fast pace, while the UK suffers.

The energy market is a perfect illustration of why economic and social policy can and must be mutually reinforcing in 21st-century Britain.

Ed Mayo director general, Co-operatives UK Peter Hobrook chief executive, Social Enterprise UK  Cliff Prior chief executive, Unltd Lord Victor Adebowale chief executive, Turning Point Steve Wyler chief executive, Locality Andrew Croft chief executive, CAN Celia Richardson director, Social Economy Alliance, London SE1