Keen to demonstrate its commitment to the environment, the British Government has announced the launch of a series of measures that aim to cut energy consumption in the UK.
Published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Energy Efficiency Strategy predicts that energy consumption in the UK could be reduced by 11 per cent within the next eight years and by a further 2 per cent (of current consumption) by 2025. All energy-efficiency measures combined could reduce national consumption by 196TWh and save around 41Mt of (equivalent) carbon emissions.
To achieve the objectives outlined in the Energy Efficiency Strategy, DECC made clear that four barriers to energy efficiency had to be removed. The first two barriers were identified as a poorly developed market and inadequate provision of information. Restructuring the energy market and making people more aware of energy efficiency are among DECC’s core goals.
The third and fourth barriers targeted the practical and economic limitations of implementing energy-efficiency measures. Those identified as being responsible for improving energy efficiency in homes by installing loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, for example, were not necessarily those who benefited directly from improved energy conservation. The report also highlighted the difficulties of installing solar PV panels and other green measures.
DECC has pledged 39 million for investigating the way energy is used domestically and commercially. End Use Energy Demand Centres, of which five will be installed across the country, aim to collect data that could alter the ways in which people and businesses use energy.
Explaining the key points of the Energy Efficiency Strategy, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We need to excite people with the opportunities that energy efficiency brings and show them that saving energy not only cuts emissions, but supports green jobs, innovation and enterprise”.
Mr Barker added that consumers must be made aware of the financial and environmental benefits of improving energy efficiency, but that to achieve this the industry must “encourage innovation” and “connect finance with demand”.
Deputy Chief Engineer at Energy Technologies Institute, Richard Knight, commented: “We have consistently said that energy efficiency is a key development priority for the UK and it is good to see more formulised thinking published in this area”.