Powys wants levy on water and energy exported from county
Powys County Council has backed calls to place a levy on energy and water that is exported from Powys to other parts of Wales and the rest of the UK in order to support the county’s finances.
Powys has numerous reservoirs that provide water to other parts of the UK and there are also several renewable energy production sites and wind turbine farms.
Councillors voted to ask the Senedd for the power to impose the levy after a motion was brought forward by the Welsh Liberal Democrats Cllr Jake Berriman and seconded by independent councillor Geoff Morgan.
The motion was passed with 40 in favour and 19 against, with Conservative councillors opposing the motion saying that it was “anti-union” and played into Plaid Cymru’s hands.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Cllr Jake Berriman said: “On the back of the COP 27 climate summit in Egypt, and Powys’s declaration of climate and nature emergencies, this council has called on the UK and Welsh Governments to put in place the necessary legislative frameworks and provisions to enable the people of Powys to retain some of the financial benefit arising from the water and energy resources exported from Powys for consumption elsewhere.
“The rate of return for the shared use of these resources should initially not be less than £1 per mega litre and £1 per megawatt, uplifted by the annual rate for inflation (RPI).
“In our race to save the planet and get to net-zero the world is changing. If we are to achieve a just transition to Net-Zero, it only seems fair that communities in Powys benefit from the usage of local natural resources.
“The income raised from such a levy could at first be used to help pay for insulation retrofits in public buildings across Powys and in the more distant future could even provide a source of income to support the delivery of public services.
“It was disappointing to see the Conservatives did not support the idea of some profits from energy and water sales in Powys staying in the community.
“I hope that the UK and Welsh Government’s will listen to the voice of Powys council today and consider our ask.”
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