JEREMY Corbyn will today outline Labour’s plans to nationalise Britain’s £62 billion energy network and start a “green industrial revolution” but critics have weighed in saying the proposals will push consumer prices up and set back the push to decarbonise the economy.

The Labour leader will explain how his party in power would take companies like the National Grid, the network arms of Scottish Power and SSE, together with smaller regional companies, out of the hands of private shareholders and place them under state control.

Current investors in those firms would be reimbursed with Government bonds with Labour believing it could pay a price below their stock market value by deducting a range of items such as state subsidies and pension fund deficits.

This radical transformation, the Opposition believes, would pave the way to reduce greenhouse gases and make heat and electricity a “human right for all”.

Labour claims privatisation of the UK’s energy grid is “ripping off customers” with 25 per cent of energy bills paid out to network companies. This, it argues, is used to line the pockets of shareholders with more than £13 billion paid out in dividends over the last five years.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Shadow Business Secretary, said: “Only by taking the Grid into public ownership can we decarbonise the economy at the pace needed to secure the planet for our children and grandchildren while ending the rip-off, creating good jobs in local communities and making heating and electricity a human right.

“That’s why public and collective ownership is a fundamental part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution,” she declared.

But Labour’s radical plan has come under intense fire.

Mathew Fell for the CBI claimed much-needed investment was already drying up for fear of it being implemented. “This seriously risks hampering efforts to tackle climate change and puts in doubt the innovation that will deliver a net-zero carbon economy.

“These plans would threaten significant improvements in network resilience made since privatisation. No one wants a return to the frequent power cuts that were a feature of nationalised industries of yesteryear,” he added.

An SSE spokeswoman said: “Aside from the disruption, paying for state ownership and control of energy networks would require full compensation of owners at great expense to taxpayers or risk destabilising two of Scotland’s largest private sector employers.

“Neither are in the public interest and jeopardise Scotland’s leading position in tackling climate change.”

She noted how electricity networks were 17 per cent cheaper than before privatisation and more reliable thanks to £100 billion of investment by private companies like SSE; all funded by private capital investment and not a penny in public debt at the expense of the NHS or schools.

“These plans put at risk the reliable, low cost, quality service customers expect and the billions in vital investment we are able to make to secure cleaner, greener energy for the future,” added the spokeswoman.

Chris Philp for the Conservatives said: “Corbyn’s ideological plan for the state to seize these companies would cost an eye-watering £100bn and saddle taxpayers with their debts.

“It would leave politicians in Westminster in charge of keeping the lights on and leave customers with nowhere else to turn. With no credible plan for how Labour would pay for this, more borrowing and tax hikes would be inevitable.”

Meanwhile, Labour will also announce today plans to reduce energy bills by installing solar panels on nearly two million homes.

The proposal is to fit solar panels on 1m social homes and those of low-income households to tackle fuel poverty, provide them with free energy and save an average of £117 a year on their bills, which could rise to £270 for retired households.

Plus, Labour will enable the installation of solar panels on an additional 750,000 homes through a programme of interest free loans, grants and changes to regulations.

The party estimates its policy would create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1m tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 4m cars off Britain’s roads.

Responding to Labour’s plans, Rebecca Newsom, Head of Politics for Greenpeace UK, said: “Nationalising gas and electricity distribution networks, if managed properly, has the potential to be positive for the climate, energy bills and workers in those sectors.

“More control over these networks would give those in government more power to implement a rapid transition away from damaging fossil fuels towards clean and increasingly cheap renewables.”

She said the challenge would be to overcome the bureaucratic inertia of a centralised system to ensure sufficient scope and support for innovation, particularly in community-level solutions.

“Labour’s ambitious rooftop solar plan indicates that they understand the importance of community-level projects. By supporting a smarter, more flexible energy system it will help cut carbon emissions and increasingly reduce fuel bills as costs drop, so everyone can benefit from the climate transition.”