Energy UK publishes manifesto
As politicians prepare to hit the campaign trail and the public to go to the polls on 12 December, Energy UK has issued its own manifesto setting out policy proposals for how the next Government can work with the sector to help meet the 2050 net-zero target at the lowest cost to consumers.
In the manifesto, Energy UK sets out policies which would help kickstart a concerted drive to decarbonise the whole economy in a way that is affordable for all customers. These include:
- Boosting energy efficiency in our homes to reduce emissions and cut customer bills through a fully funded National Energy Efficiency Programme - supported by existing and strong new measures to incentivise the ‘able to pay’ market.
- Tightening building standards and funding large scale trials to find the best low carbon alternatives for heating homes – another essential step to net zero.
- Increasing investment in low carbon generation by allowing the lowest cost technologies of all types to participate in Capacity Market and Contracts for Difference auctions as well as agreeing funding models for large scale projects like Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) and nuclear.
- Accelerating the rollout of Electric Vehicles by bringing forward the 2040 phase out date for internal combustion vehicles, subsidising upfront purchase costs for drivers and supporting the necessary infrastructure for mass take up through a national network of ultra-rapid chargers.
- Ensuring a fair transition for customers through better targeting of support such as Winter Fuel Payments to help those most in need.
The power sector has led the way in the UK’s world leading efforts to tackle climate change, reducing its CO2 emissions by 62% since 1990 – in doing so cutting its share of the UK’s total CO2 emissions from 33% to 18%. Low carbon sources now supply over half of the UK’s generation and the sector will continue to play a pivotal role, not just in continuing the transition to cleaner sources of power, but also in decarbonising other sectors like heating and transport where far less progress has been made.
Energy UK recently called for the Government to introduce a ‘net-zero test’ to ensure all new government policies support the target as part of a concerted and consistent approach across all departments.
Energy UK chief executive, Lawrence Slade said:
“Public concern has put climate change at the top of the media and political agenda and with the net zero target in place, policies to enable a huge and unprecedented transformation right across our economy must head the next Government’s programme of action.
“Our sector has helped the UK lead the way in reducing emissions but rather than sit back and admire our work, we need to go further and faster without any delay if we are to meet this huge but unavoidable challenge. We believe that net-zero is not just achievable but can bring huge benefits to the environment, the economy and our customers.
“The energy industry has shown how it can deliver and will play a crucial role in transforming other sectors like transport and heating as well as our own. So we stand ready to work together with the next government - but time is not on our side and we need words and aspirations to be backed up with positive action and policies.
“One major - and popular step - the next Government could take is to finally get serious about energy efficiency. The installation of domestic energy efficiency measures has gone backwards in recent years despite the clear evidence of how these can reduce both emissions and bills. Committing to a national energy efficiency programme would therefore deliver swift rewards and there could be no better way of showing just how net-zero can benefit us all.”