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Environment & Energy Publications
Richard Howard, Head of Environment and Energy, warns that the previous Government’s plan to install electric heat pumps in 4 out of 5 homes is a colossal waste of money, and sets out an alternative strategy to decarbonise heating.
Up in the Air: Part 2 sets out a comprehensive package of measures to clean up air pollution in London, in particular focusing on the two main sources of pollution – road transport and gas combustion.
Efficient Energy Policy states home-buyers would be encouraged to buy more energy efficient properties if Stamp Duty was directly linked to the energy performance of a home. The report argues that promoting home energy efficiency could not only reduce energy bills, but is also one of the cheapest ways to cut carbon emissions.
Nearly 25% of all school children in London and 44% of the Capital’s workforce are exposed to levels of air pollution that exceed legal and healthy limits. Up in the Air analyses data from over 100 air quality monitoring sites across London. It shows the most polluted parts of the capital currently have levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) nearly four times the legal limit, with 12.5% of London’s total area exceeding the legal limit for NO2, and that deprived areas are more likely to be affected.
DECC could save hundreds of millions of pounds and promote more competition and innovation among energy companies by sweeping away swathes of energy quangos at the Spending Review. Currently more than 30 bodies, many with overlapping functions and with an annual cost of £600m a year, govern energy policy, regulations and rules.
Onshore wind is the most cost effective and scaleable low carbon technology in the UK and should be allowed to continue, albeit with subsidies phased out, if the government wants to decarbonise at least cost to the consumer.
For too long policymakers have failed to strike the right balance between energy affordability and decarbonising the economy. Ill thought through energy and climate policies have added £120 to the average household energy bill over the past five years. While reducing carbon emissions remains critical, if the government wants to retain support for this goal it must focus on carrying it out in a way that reduces the price of energy bills.
Warmer Homes presents a character profile of the 2.3 million households in England living in fuel poverty. Among the findings in the report is the fact that nearly half of all fuel poor households (1.1m) are in work, challenging the perception that fuel poverty primarily involves the elderly and retired.
This report calls for plans to introduce auctioning to enable all technologies to compete on a level playing field should be brought forward. It points to Brazil, where prices for onshore wind have dropped to world record lows since auctioning was introduced. If the UK can achieve a even a fraction of the results from Brazil, it would allow much greater decarbonisation for the available budget.
Connecting the UK to power stations in other countries could help bring down energy bills and meet our decarbonisation targets. Getting Interconnected shows that interconnectors could save British consumers as much as £1bn a year, as well as allowing access to zero-carbon electricity. The report calls for overseas generators to be allowed to compete for government subsidy in the new capacity market and endorses ways to ensure that revenue supports development of new interconnector links.