The government has launched a new package of energy efficiency incentive measures, designed to kick-start a “revolution” in the way in which energy is used by businesses and homeowners.
Unveiled this week by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the UK’s first dedicated Energy Efficiency Strategy aims to reduce energy consumption by 11% by 2020 - equivalent to the output from about 22 power stations.
The plans identify a number of key barriers which currently prevent businesses and homeowners from making energy efficiency improvements, including an under-developed market, a lack of information on energy efficiency, mis-aligned financial incentives, and the perceived hassle of installing efficiency measures, such as hidden costs, disruption and information gathering.
Building on the recently-launched Green Deal, which will remove the need for certain retailers to pay large upfront costs for energy efficiency improvements, the government also hopes to improve other businesses’ access to finance for energy saving equipment and schemes.
A new End Use Energy Demand Centre which will examine what drives business energy demand, and how to encourage businesses to save energy, will also be created.
Launching the strategy, energy and 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.”
Barker also stressed the significant community benefits around energy efficiency, including an enhanced corporate reputation.
The energy efficiency sector in the UK recorded sales of £17.6bn in 2010/11, and is projected to grow by around 5% every year between now and 2015.