Industry responds to UK energy security strategy  

Key bodies within the industry have responded to the government’s proposal for cleaner and more affordable energy to be made in Great Britain under bold plans to boost long-term energy independence, security and prosperity.

The government’s plan is to boost Britain’s energy security following rising global energy prices and volatility in international markets.

Described by the government as ‘new commitments to supercharge clean energy and accelerate deployment’ could see 95% of the UK’s electricity set to be low carbon by 2030. 

Plans include the ambitious, quicker expansion of nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, oil and gas, including delivering the equivalent to one nuclear reactor a year instead of one a decade. 

More than 40,000 new jobs in clean industries

More than 40,000 new jobs in clean industries to be supported thanks to measures, totalling 480,000 jobs by 2030. 

Laura Bishop, chair of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA), said:
“The government’s energy security strategy published today represents a missed opportunity. Instead of focusing on immediate measures to reduce dependence on expensive imported gas, including accelerating the rollout of heat pumps, the strategy focuses on the government’s favoured electricity generating technologies, including those with long lead in times. This will do nothing to address the immediate cost of living and energy crises facing UK consumers.” 

Key bodies in the industry have responded to UK energy security strategy.
Laura Bishop

“We welcome the announcement of a new grant completion for UK heat pump manufacturing and a government information website for heat pumps, but again, this will do little in the short-term to boost heat pump demand, or put the UK on course to delivering the prime minister’s target of 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.  

“The GSHPA has been calling for an acceleration of the welcome measures contained in last year’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, but today’s announcements provide no additional funding for consumers wanting to switch to heat pumps, nor give any clear indication of when the legacy environmental costs on electricity bills will be removed. We needed to see far greater urgency in today’s announcements, with a clear focus on reducing energy demand in the short-term. We didn’t get it.”

Phil Hurley, Chair of the HPA said:  
“In the context of the cost-of-living crisis and the tragedy in Ukraine, it has never been more important for heat pumps to be deployed at scale in UK homes, and we remain committed to collaborating with government and industry to make this happen.

Phil Hurley, HPA
Phil Hurley

“The electrification of heat enables energy security by giving choice to how electrical power is generated or migrated to renewable energy over time, and it’s welcome to see this reflected in the Energy Security Strategy. Not only can heat pumps reduce carbon now but their benefits will increase over time as the grid continues to decarbonise.”  

Tom Lowe, founding director of Thermal Storage UK, said:

Tom Lowe

“Thermal Storage UK welcomes the Energy Security Strategy’s commitment to ensuring that the energy system values flexibility.

“We will work with the government to reform electricity market arrangements and expand flexible pricing. Thermal storage can support renewables, lower carbon emissions and reduce bills.” 

Luke Osborne, advisor ECA Energy Solutions, said:

The quickest route to energy security is to reduce our energy use by retrofitting our ageing housing stock. By creating better incentives for energy efficient buildings, such as a home insulatation scheme and an expansion of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to include other low carbon, energy saving solutions, consumers would see an immediate reduction in fuel bills. These are solutions that are available now and can make a difference now.

“Boosting oil and gas is not an acceptable short-term measure – energy efficiency is. The notion that we can delay our switch to low carbon energy by burning more fossil fuels in the interim is misguided, especially in light of the IPCC’s latest climate change report.”

Andrew Eldred, ECA director of Workforce and Public Affairs, said:

“Measures to encourage electricians to upskill are urgently needed as they are essential to delivering the ambitions set out in this strategy. Without a properly trained and qualified workforce, the UK cannot meet its low-carbon energy needs.

“We urge the government to listen to the electrotechnical sector and focus its drive on giving competent firms and individuals the confidence to invest in low-carbon upskilling, as a starting point on our way to energy independence and Net Zero.”

Jay Parmar, chief executive of the JIB, said:

The JIB welcomes the arrival of the government’s eagerly anticipated energy strategy. The shift away from non-renewable energy sources towards a more sustainable future is vital if we are to meet the target of net zero carbon and affordable energy by 2050.

“The JIB will continue to work with industry bodies to ensure there is a trained, competent and skilled workforce in place to deliver a greener built environment.”

Jade Lewis, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Association, said:

“We welcome the government taking steps to provide the nation with greater energy security, however, the SEA believes that the strategy does not place enough emphasis on energy efficiency, which is the most effective way to provide long term security against future energy bill rises.

“Energy efficiency provides additional benefits like supporting the UK’s transition to net-zero, stimulating investment in industry and improving comfort and wellbeing. Extending the remit of the energy company obligation would provide an established mechanism for delivering energy efficiency.”

Kaa Holmes, communications director at EDF Energy, said:

“Insulating homes is the best way to cut dependence on gas and reduce heating bills. More householders need to be able to make this step. EDF fully supports ECO + to help to insulate customers from energy price increases and support the government in achieving its net zero and energy security ambitions.”

Andrew Warren, chair, British Energy Efficiency Federation (BEEF), said:

“ECO+ will guarantee both lower fuel bills for participants, and will be the swiftest, cheapest and most reliable way of delivering energy security. Bar none. We already have the least energy efficient housing stock in western Europe; every other western European government is set to expand similar schemes.”