Category: Energy Policy

New direction for UK energy policy

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd has set out her vision for an energy system that puts consumers first, delivers more competition, reduces the burden on bill-payers and ensures enough electricity generation to power the nation.


It focuses on:-

  • Consultation on ending unabated coal-fired power stations by 2025
  • New gas-fired power stations a priority
  • Commitment to offshore wind support completes commitment to secure, low-carbon, affordable electricity supplies
  • Move towards a smarter energy system

See full press release

Public want urgent global action to tackle climate change

73% of people want world leaders to agree a global deal and 66% think action must happen now, according to a new Populus survey. The survey reveals an appetite for action on climate change by the UK public, with only 20% agreeing that it can wait a few years. But the survey also showed that just 40% of people recognise the potential impact of climate change on their lifestyle.

Survey results

  • 73% think world leaders must urgently agree a global deal
  • 20% think taking action can wait a few years
  • 72% are aware of the benefits of tackling climate change
  • 40% think that climate change will negatively impact me and my lifestyle
  • 33% think taking action on climate change will negatively impact economic growth

Full DECC Press release

Powering the nation – UK household electricity-using habits revealed

This in-depth UK Household Electricity Use Study aimed to cover the electricity usage of a representative sample of English owner-occupier homes. The report was jointly commissioned by Energy Saving Trust, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Its results are summarised in the report “Powering the Nation”, provide the richest insights ever produced in the UK into how people use the electrical products that power their lives.

The report uncovers a number of surprises, mostly unwelcome ones:

  • The power consumption of appliances on standby is much higher than we thought.
  • Single-person households – over 29 per cent of all UK households – use as much, and sometimes more, energy than typical families for cooking and laundry.
  • We really are a nation of television watchers – not almost five hours a day but an average of more than six hours a day, costing us an an extra £205 million a year across the UK.
  • We love to keep our clothes clean. We run, on average, 5.5 washes a week; and if we have a tumble dryer, 81 per cent of our washing is dried in it.
  • We spend more on keeping our crockery, glasses and cutlery clean than we do on our clothes. Anyone with a dishwasher uses on average nearly twice as much electricity for this as they do for their washing machine.

Powering the nation shows how much we need to do to reduce our energy use in the UK and work towards a low-carbon future. Not only do we need to use less power, we also need to use power differently and at different times, altering our behaviour to reduce the ‘peak load’ demands on the grid. This will become even more crucial in the next decade, when there’s more decentralised and renewable power in the electricity mix, and we need to power the next generation of electric vehicles.

More details

Download summary Report

UK routemap to decarbonising heating: heat pumps and heat networks

Gas is currently the main source of heating in the UK

Heat pumps and heat networks could play a major role in slashing heating emissions from our buildings and factories between now and 2050, according to a new UK Government heat strategy.

The Government set out its vision on how to cut emissions from heating homes, businesses and industry over the coming decades. As well as options for making our buildings and factories more energy efficient, the heat strategy examines different ways low carbon heat could be supplied in the future. It suggests that heat pumps could play a major role in providing low carbon heat for individual buildings, while in some areas, heat networks could be the least costly and most efficient way to connect buildings, communities or industrial sites to greener sources of energy.
The UK Government says it is already starting to make the change to low carbon heat through schemes such as the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, which offers money off renewable kit for householders. However the heat strategy, sets out the scale of the challenge and a framework for addressing it. It also poses questions on how best to move forward.
Full Article in Greenwise.