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Environment & Energy Publications
What Would a Competitive Domestic Energy Retail Market Look Like? Success metrics for retail market reform
On 14th February 2013, Policy Exchange held a roundtable discussion to help stimulate debate on what success for proposed new regulation of the energy retail market would look like and how it could be measured. This publication is a summary of the remarks made at that event.
Households could reduce their gas and electricity bills by as much as £70 a year if they were allowed to compare each other’s energy bills. Smarter, Greener, Cheaper, shows there is evidence both internationally and in the UK that households cut the amount of energy they use when their energy use is compared to that of a more energy efficient neighbour.
Something in the Air shows that air pollution is Britain’s invisible environmental problem. It is comparable to obesity and alcohol and second only to smoking as a public health problem, but gets far less attention. Yet some government policies, such as encouraging diesel vehicles in cities, are making the problem even worse.
Fuelling Transition says the electricity market needs to be allowed to invest in gas as a transition fuel, subject to a long-term EU emissions cap. Extending the EU cap to 2035 would give greater certainty to investors, allowing the market to decide which technology has the most potential to deliver emission reductions at the cheapest cost.
The planning system is failing to protect some of England’s most threatened wildlife and important habitats. Nurturing Nature finds that mechanisms designed to protect England’s natural environment and compensate for any damage to it are haphazardly applied and woefully monitored.
Gas Works? says that the government is “unnecessarily gambling with billpayers’ money”. It says that the UK’s energy generation plans are based on forecasting future gas prices which is a flawed strategy, potentially resulting in the UK missing out on the potential economic and environmental benefits of shale gas.
This report accuses the Government of not clearly presenting the full impacts and costs of climate and renewable energy policies on households, and outlines how the UK could meet its carbon targets while saving households hundreds of pounds.
The current policy of subsidising select UK ‘green’ industries is based not on the subsidies for such selected sectors being the best way to reduce carbon emissions, but that a principal objective of these public subsidies is to promote UK growth, exports and employment. This is a big gamble, with renewables policies costing tens of billions of pounds more than necessary to meet 2020 carbon reduction targets.
Based on interviews with 22 energy experts and analysis of current policy, Boosting Energy IQ finds the UK’s overlapping climate policies are unnecessarily complex. Moreover, they have created multiple carbon prices across the non-domestic sector. This risks making overall carbon reductions more expensive.
Water Retail Services Competition in England and Wales recommends that vertically-integrated local water monopolies should be partially broken up, with businesses and public sector organisations given the right to choose their water retail suppliers.