“… the need for energy demand reduction and energy efficiency.”
We need to be insulating our homes:
A widely-reported story shows the sort of measures people are taking to keep energy costs under some sort of control:
Insulation is indeed the way ahead:
With a further report suggesting real savings can be made through proper insulation:
The global energy crisis has had a profound impact on many major economies, particularly so in Europe, forcing a scramble to diversify our energy supply and end our dependence on Russian gas...
But a critical piece of the puzzle that isn’t being considered enough in the UK: the need for energy demand reduction and energy efficiency. The European Commission has urged all EU governments to cut peak electricity demand by 5%, overall demand for electricity by 10% and gas demand by 15%, by March 2023. To put it in perspective, that would mean removing the equivalent of the entire annual electricity consumption of Spain in six months.
The UK however has no such targets, instead announcing a freeze on unit prices of energy amounting to a price cap of £2,500 for the next six months for a typical household. Estimated to cost £35.5bn over six months, this energy price guarantee is poorly targeted and reduces the incentive for high energy-consuming households to curtail their energy demand. The New Economics Foundation’s (NEF) proposal for a new system of free basic energy could both lower costs to households while increasing the incentive to reduce energy demand. It would do this by ensuring that while average bills were lower than under the Ofgem price cap system, the marginal price for additional energy consumption is higher.
Had the government taken energy efficiency seriously, and upgraded our housing stock, the government would have needed to spend less to maintain the energy price cap. To forecast the huge savings potential, we modelled the savings implied if all housing stock in England and Wales had been upgraded to a decent energy efficiency standard (Energy Performance Certificate C or higher) by this October. The government has already set this as a target for all fuel-poor households by 2030 and for the entire housing stock by 2035. If insulation rates had kept pace at their peak in 2012, this target would have largely been met by now.
As covered in the wider media:
Meanwhile, the PM has “hinted” to the Sun that more help will be forthcoming:
“People are rightly anxious about bills – if we can go and embark on a programme of improving energy efficiency of people’s homes, which we started in government, it cuts peoples bills by hundreds of pounds and it helps us meet our climate objectives. Those things have a real benefit at home which we shouldn’t lose sight of.”