Efficiency 'at heart' of UK energy policy

13th November 2012


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Supporting organisations and consumers to cut energy use is a top priority for the government, confirms the energy secretary as DECC publishes new efficiency strategy

The government aims to help drive the adoption of energy-efficiency measures in the UK by sponsoring research into companies’ ability access to finance for projects, developing new sector-specific guidance and rolling out public sector initiatives across the country.

In its Energy efficiency strategy, DECC has outlined what it sees as the barriers to wider adoption of energy-efficiency measures including: difficulties in securing investment; a lack of accurate information about the benefits and payback times of measures; and the “hassle costs” of installing equipment.

To help encourage uptake of efficiency initiatives, the government is spending £26 million to fund research centres to investigate energy demand and how to change behaviour, as well as launching a new project with ENWORKS examining the processes, costs and benefits of financing efficiency measures.

Re:Fit, the project in London that has successfully retrofitted public sector buildings across the capital to make them more efficient, is to be rolled out throughout the UK, and more funding is to be made available to train facilities managers in energy efficiency.

The government will also sponsor three new green business awards recognising companies that have significantly reduced their own energy consumption and helped others to cut their energy use.

“Too often, governments have neglected the role that energy demand reduction can play in managing our energy system,” says energy secretary Ed Davey. “Yet measures that reduce demand can contribute in a more cost-effective way to meeting our energy and climate goals than supply-side measures.

“That’s why energy efficiency takes pride of place at the centre of the coalition government’s policy framework.”

In the strategy, DECC confirms it recognises cutting energy demand is a “no regrets, cost-effective way of reducing the effort [it] will later have to make in decarbonising the energy system”, and outlines the work that the Energy Efficiency Deployment Office will be undertaking in the coming year.

The strategy comes after the government was criticised by the parliamentary committee on energy and climate change for failing to include reference to efficiency in its draft Energy Bill. The final Bill is due to be published this month.

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