Labour to outline National Grid ownership plans

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Labour is set to release a policy paper outlining how it will transfer the UK’s National Grid to public ownership.

In its paper, the party says the Grid – a public limited company which is listed on two stock exchanges – will be run by a new National Energy Agency.

Labour says public ownership – majority or controlling shareholding by the government – would lower bills for consumers.

It would also accelerate efforts to tackle climate change.

The policy paper says that the grid should “ensure access to electricity and heat as a human right”.

The new energy agency will be tasked with delivering a target of 60% of energy from low carbon or renewable sources by 2030.

It will also be responsible for the rollout of the UK’s electric vehicle charging network and development of energy storage capacity.

The gas network was privatised in 1986 and the electricity network in 1990.

The Labour paper says the companies that own the UK’s energy networks have paid out almost £12bn in dividends to shareholders over the last five years.

Network costs make up more than one-quarter of gas and electricity bills in the UK.

Privatised distribution network operators (DNOs) allocate electricity from the transmission grid to homes and businesses in 14 geographical areas.

Under the Labour plans, the 14 DNOs would also be taken into public ownership.