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Two Cheers for Government’s new Energy Efficiency Strategy

The Association for the Conservation of Energy has given a qualified welcome to the Government’s new Energy Efficiency Strategy, published today.

While welcoming the publication of a strategy dedicated solely to energy efficiency – the first of its kind since 2004 – ACE says that the Government has shirked its responsibility by failing to set out a clear target for energy efficiency. The Association is also disappointed that DECC has fought shy of setting out what further policies will be needed to plug the gap between what can be achieved and what current policies are expected to deliver.

ACE Director Andrew Warren said: “While welcoming the publication of a dedicated energy efficiency strategy and the establishment of a dedicated Energy Efficiency Deployment Office, the absence of clear targets for energy efficiency is a real disappointment. The Strategy tells us that 196TWh of energy savings are “possible” in 2020 – but totally fails to commit Government to achieving these savings. We have seen all too often how, in the absence of firm targets, Governments fail to put in place adequate policies or resources to achieve them. As things stand, this is a wish list, not a strategy.”

“We will therefore be urgently pressing Government to put binding targets in place. We will also be asking them to bring forward new policies to plug the 33TWh gap between what they say is achievable and what current policies are on course to deliver. The main way in which they can do this is by committing to use the carbon tax revenues they will get from next year to transform the energy efficiency of the housing stock – the central demand of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign. And if they’re really saying that we can save energy equivalent to 22 power stations, then why do the Government’s proposals for electricity market reform completely fail to give energy efficiency a chance to compete on equal terms with supply-side solutions?”

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