Labour: We still support Electricity Market Reform

Labour has rejected claims it has forgotten about Electricity Market Reform (EMR) amid all the fuss over its plans for an energy price freeze – with an insider saying it […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Labour has rejected claims it has forgotten about Electricity Market Reform (EMR) amid all the fuss over its plans for an energy price freeze – with an insider saying it is “implausible” they might put off energy investors.

Party leader Ed Miliband announced the headline-grabbing plans at the party conference in Brighton on Tuesday while Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint (pictured) pledged to “break up the Big Six”. There was little or no mention of EMR, leading some to question whether there was enough longevity in the party’s plans.

Government is shepherding the energy industry through massive changes under the EMR and a common complaint is that there’s not enough certainty for investors as it is. Suppliers and generators alike dread more upheaval.

When responding to a question raised by smaller SmartestEnergy during an interview with ELN, about the consistency of energy policy should Labour get in, a spokesperson for the party said: “Caroline and Ed have been very clear they support EMR, the Contracts for Difference, the capacity mechanism… I don’t think industry should have any reason to worry about this.”

Rebuffing suggestions that investors might be shaken by Labour’s plans, they said: “There’s a 15-year guarantee on investments [under the Contracts for Difference for renewable energy projects], the idea a 20 month freeze will have more impact than a 15-year guarantee… seems implausible.”