Not for profit firm will sell energy “as near to cost price as possible” pledges first minister Sturgeon in conference speech

The SNP will set up a not for profit, publicly owned energy company to serve customers in Scotland “by the end of this parliament”, the party’s leader Nicola Sturgeon has pledged.

In her speech to the SNP party conference in Gloasgow, Sturgeon promised the firm would buy renewable energy produced in Scotland on the wholesale market and sell it to customers “as near to cost price as possible”.

She said the firm’s “only job” will be to secure the lowest possible cost for customers.

It will have “no shareholders to worry about, no corporate bonusses to consider”.

More detail on the launch of the energy company and how it will work is due to be unveiled in the SNP’s upcoming energy strategy paper.

Other energy announcements in Sturgeon’s SNP speech included a commitment to push further with Scotland’s commitments to renewable energy generation. She confirmed that the first of four “low-emissions” cities which the party promised to create in Scotland by 2020 will be inaugurated by the end of 2018.

The first city to meet this milestone will be Glasgow, Sturgeon said. And to ensure cleaner across all of Scotland, Sturgeon also said that the nation will phase out the use of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 – ahead of the Defra target of 2040.

Sturgeon also spoke of the SNP’s willingness to make “difficult decisions” in order to live up to its duties to protect the planet and act against climate change. She therefore reiterated that fracking is now “banned” in Scotland.

Finally, Sturgeon said she is looking forward to officially opening the world’s largest floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead next week. She said the facility is testament to the fact the Scotland is, and can continue to be, a world leader in the development and deployment of new, low carbon technologies.


What to read next