In Parliament >> Lowering demand

17th July 2012



Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, asks why energy efficiency is missing from the draft Energy Bill

The committee on climate change’s latest report reveals how much more we will have to do to meet our CO2 emissions targets.

Given this, you might expect to see some stern demand-reduction measures and incentives in the new Energy Bill currently being looked at in draft form by the energy and climate change committee prior to its passage through parliament next year.

The Bill, which is to be the main measure to push the energy market into low-carbon mode, focuses on how we meet the requirements of more capacity and is surprisingly shy on detail about the imperative of demand reduction.

As a member of the committee, I will be looking to see how the legislation might incentivise demand management by redistributing variable power, such as wind generated when not needed, through interconnectors to the continent so that we can share demand two ways. I also hope to see support for new electricity storage capacity, such as pumped hydro, which can store and supply electricity for when it is most needed.

But demand management is not necessarily demand reduction. What we should be incentivising is permanent energy-use reduction through what might be called demand-side feed-in tariffs. These require an aggregator to manage the process and ensure efficient recording of “start dates” for energy reduction. Capacity-reduction rewards then follow on from the remeasurement of consumption on a regular basis.

A recent report from Green Alliance estimates that using incentives to cut demand still works out three times cheaper than paying for the equivalent in additional generation.

We will have to wait and see whether any demand-management and reduction incentives make it into the final Energy Bill. If they don’t, we will have missed an opportunity to really lower carbon emissions through not emitting them at all.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Despite cost-of-living concerns, four-fifths of shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced or sourced goods, a global survey has found.

16th May 2024

Read more

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Each person in the UK throws a shocking 35 items of unwanted clothes and textiles into general waste every year on average, according to a new report from WRAP.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close