Energy UK today (28 Apr 2017) launches its ‘manifesto’ for the next UK government and for the MPs who are elected in the British general election in six weeks’ time.
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said: “We are today setting out the key principles the next <British> government should adopt to ensure we do this in a secure and sustainable way and delivered at the lowest cost to consumers.
“We are witnessing monumental changes right across the sector as we transition to a digital, decarbonised energy future that better meets consumer’s needs.
“We are committed to working to enhance consumer trust and engagement,and deliver a secure, sustainable energy market as the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union.
“In order to continue to deliver secure power and gas at lowest cost to customers, the energy industry believes that any party in the forthcoming 2017 General Election should adopt the following key principles.
- Commitment to competitive markets
Competition is the most appropriate way to drive down prices and increase innovation for all customers. The remedies from a thorough two year investigation into the energy market by the independent Competition and Markets Authority must be given time to be implemented and work.
- Make energy efficiency a national priority
The most effective way to help customers manage their energy costs is through energy efficiency.
This is essential to enable consumers to reduce their energy consumption, improve the comfort of their homes and is central to achieving the UK’s 2030 fuel poverty and 2050 carbon reduction targets. Energy UK proposes that making UK homes more energy efficient should become a national priority for policy makers with delivery funded through general taxation to avoid a disproportionate cost falling on the fuel poor.
- Continued commitment to decarbonisation
Power generation output from low carbon sources accounted for nearly half (49%) of total power output in 2016.
However, the removal of a route to market for the least cost renewable and low carbon energy sources has had a detrimental impact on customer bills.
There should be a continued commitment to provide visibility of long term support for all low carbon technologies through setting Contract for Difference (CfD) allocation rounds on a rolling one year basis, with any government setting out its position on the future of carbon pricing following the UK’s decision to quit the European Union.
- An industrial strategy built on a low carbon economy
The UK energy industry is estimated to have invested £42 billion in low carbon electricity generation capacity since 2010 as well as developing and upgrading networks to meet future energy demands.
Government should reconfirm its commitment to the Climate Change Act 2008, with an Industrial Strategy that continues to deliver a low carbon future across the power, heat and transport sectors.
- Ensure efficient trading of power and gas with Europe
The EU Internal Energy Market is widely regarded as having led to greater efficiency in trading power and gas, with the result that it has enabled access to diverse sources of energy at reduced costs to customers and led to improvements in security of supply.
A priority outcome from any Brexit negotiation should be to ensure the continued efficient trading of power and gas with the EU.