NATIONALISING energy companies would save Britons over £3 billion a year and pay for itself in 10 years, a new report revealed today.
According to research by the Public Services International Research Unit at the University of Greenwich, the lower cost of borrowing in the public sector would substantially lower the costs of running the sector.
Experts argued that instead of buying out existing energy giants known as the Big Six, the state should create new companies to compete with the likes of British Gas and EDF.
Affordable energy campaign Switched On London spokeswoman Laura Hill said: “People are sick and tired of being ripped off by profiteering energy companies.
“The Big Six have forced up prices, pocketed billions in profit and continue to invest in dirty energy.”
She added that in London alone, a publicly owned energy company could decrease bills by 25 per cent, while investing in renewable energies to power a fifth of the capital’s electricity.
“What’s more, 78 per cent of Londoners want this,” she said.
Across the country price cuts of 10 per cent could be expected from nationalising the grid.
Experts believe that refinancing private debt in the sector would save a further £0.7 billion a year — a £25 price cut for every British family.
Commenting on the report, Green MP Caroline said: “A public energy system would be better for everyone.
“A publicly owned system would benefit from the low cost of borrowing, and — with no shareholders to pay — bills could be kept lower, permanently.
“The most exciting part of this proposal is the potential for decentralising the energy system and putting power generation into the hands of local communities.
“The era of privatised and centralised energy must now come to an end and a new transparent, accountable and affordable alternative must emerge.”
The report, authored by economist Professor David Hall, proposes a model of public ownership based on a mix of national, regional and local public ownership.
Renewable energy would be generated by local authorities, co-operatives and community groups, while the state would buy up some generating capacity, the National Grid and distribution.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change declined to comment on the findings as the matter was “political.”