[2023] Motion 18 Unplug the profiteers – the case for public democratic ownership of energy

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress notes the UK is in the grip of a profiteering epidemic. ‘Greedflation’ fuels the cost-of-living crisis, not workers’ wages.

Congress also notes that energy has been one of the most egregious examples of profiteering in the economy. Multinational corporations and shareholders are making billions while communities are left out in the cold and energy costs push industries to the brink.

The “Big 4” energy providers posted combined profits of £9.5bn, up 84 per cent. Distribution and transmission monopolies have posted combined profits of £6.3bn, with higher profit margins than any other sector in the UK economy.

Public, democratic ownership of the entire energy network can end profiteering, make energy affordable for all, and create new jobs in a sustainable industry.

Unite Investigates has exposed that the profit margins of the UK’s largest companies soared 89 per cent since the pandemic and revealed the cost of nationalisation of energy is equal to just two years of company profits at current levels.

Public ownership of energy could have saved the UK nearly £45bn in 2022, over £1,800 per household.

Congress resolves to:

i. recommit to a strategy of defending and extending collective bargaining as the primary way workers can challenge profiteering and economic inequality for ourselves

ii. oppose any return to austerity, a false choice which makes our public sector pay the price for a failing economy

iii. support full public, democratic ownership of the energy network in the interests of workers and our communities.



› In point (i.) after ‘for ourselves,’ insert:
“including fair pay agreements being introduced through sectoral collective bargaining across the economy as soon as possible in Labour’s first term.”
› At end of motion insert:
“iv. use sectoral collective bargaining and public ownership to assist just transition in the offshore
energy sector guaranteeing retraining and unionised jobs on equivalent terms and conditions.”
National Union of Rail. Maritime and Transport Workers