DECC publishes Energy Efficiency Strategy

A transformation in the way energy is used across the UK economy could help boost growth and jobs, and investing in energy efficiency could save up to 22 power stations-worth of energy by 2020, according to the government’s Energy Efficiency Strategy published today.

The new Strategy is aimed at changing the way energy is used in sectors such as housing, transport and manufacturing over the coming decades. It also includes immediate action to kick start a revolution in UK energy efficiency, including:

£39 million to fund five centres examining business and household energy demand
An energy efficiency labelling trial with John Lewis
A drive on financing energy efficiency for business and the public sector

Climate change minister Greg Barker said: “We have put energy efficiency at the very heart of the government’s energy policy. Using energy more wisely is absolutely vital in a world of increased pressure on resources and rising prices. Not only can energy efficiency help save money on bills and cut emissions, it can support green jobs, innovation and enterprise.

“This is Britain’s first comprehensive Energy Efficiency Strategy and sets out the action we are taking now, as well as what we will do in the future to ensure the UK continues to be a global leader in reducing energy use.”

DECC says the energy efficiency sector in the UK already accounts for around 136,000 jobs, and had sales of £17.6 billion in 2010/11. Sales in this sector have grown by over 4 percent per year in the UK since 2007/08, and are projected to grow by around 5 percent per year between 2010/11 and 2014/15.

In addition, DECC will continue publishing a series of consultations to guide the implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which needs to be fully implemented by Spring 2014. The Directive is a significant step forward by the EU as it looks to meet its target to reduce primary energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 against its 2007 business as usual projections.

The Energy Technologies Institute has welcomed the publication of the strategy with the organisation’s deputy chief engineer, Richard Knight, adding: “We welcome the publication today of DECC’s energy efficiency strategy. 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. It is something that all players in the low carbon arena need to make a contribution towards as the cheapest energy is the energy that we do not actually use. The TINA’s again demonstrate the opportunity for innovation within this area, and it is vital that the UK embraces an innovative approach to its energy generation in the future so that we can share the economic benefits of cost reduction across producers, suppliers and importantly end consumers.”

Dr Matthew Brown, CBI head of energy and climate change policy, added: “Improving energy efficiency could deliver real benefits to the economy. Not only could it create new jobs, but it could also cut emissions and deliver significant savings to firms and consumers.

“The current policy landscape is too complex, particularly for companies, so this should mark the start of a more strategic approach to business energy efficiency by the government.”