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Green party calls for nationalization of UK’s big five energy firms as ‘solution to failed experiment with a market-based energy system’

 Political correspondent

The Greens have called for the permanent nationalisation of the main energy supply companies and for domestic fuel bills to be reduced to the level of last autumn, describing this as a solution to the failed experiment with a market-based energy system.

In a proposal that goes well beyond Labour’s idea for a freeze on energy bills for at least six months, the Greens said nationalising the main five energy firms was a necessary part of a plan sufficiently ambitious “to avoid a catastrophe this winter”.

The scheme would be based on one proposed by the TUC last month. This was based on a cost of about £2.85bn to nationalise the big five supply firms – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Ovo. As a comparison, the government spent £2.2bn bailing out another firm, Bulb.

The Green plan would also involve the energy price cap – the maximum households can pay – being put back to the level of last autumn, before this April’s increase of nearly £700 a year for the average household.