Energy UK pledges to put customers at the ‘heart’ of policy, as 38-Degrees mulls ‘Big Bad Six’ switching campaign

Family consumer SSEThe UK’s energy sector is ready to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy – according to a new report from Energy UK, the trade association which represents gas and energy utility providers.

Putting customers at the heart of future energy policy, the Pathways to 2030 report highlights how a positive partnership with government will allow the sector to meet the considerable challenges facing the country in balancing costs with affordability while meeting environmental and security goals.

Over the next decade, the industry is also set to be revolutionised as Britain moves towards cleaner, cheaper energy with more generated at a local level. Energy efficiency will also play a huge role in reducing household energy bills and carbon emissions.

The report comes as 38-Degrees – the non-aligned online consumer watchdog – mulls over launching a massive new ‘energy switching’ campaign aimed at encouraging householders to switch away from the ‘Big Six’ suppliers who dominate the UK retail energy supply market.

Energy UK Lawrence Slade, Chief ExecutiveLawrence Slade, Chief Executive, Energy UK, (left) said that while the future would also be ‘more responsive’ to customers and their needs, government needed to adopt a costed, considered and stable end to end approach to policy and investment where the impact of policy decisions were thought through across the electricity, heat and transport sectors.

The report sets out how the future of energy will be smarter where –

  1. Consumers are central to policy– as the costs and benefits of moving to a low carbon economy are clearly set out to achieve customer buy-in;
  2. There is a “whole systems” approach– as the power, transport and heat sectors are decarbonised, a cross government and industry taskforce co-ordinates the interactions and arrangements so nothing is done in isolation;
  3. Energy efficiency policy encourages customers to take action– as clear, long-term policy unlocks the significant potential to reduce energy use through fiscal incentives and long lead time regulation;
  4. Solar & storage is subsidy free– as decentralised energy plays an increasing role as costs continue to fall and regulatory change comes into place;
  5. Demand Side Response and smart grids play a significant role– as the right policy and regulatory structures are put in place;
  6. There is a more dynamic energy system– Due to the impact of DE, DSR, interconnection and energy efficiency, while there is still significant investment in large-scale power generation needed, this could be less than previously thought; 
  7. Transition to a lower carbon energy system is delivered effectively and efficiently– as the governance and roles of industry bodies are reviewed and clarified; and
  8. Predictable and stable policies drive investment– as the sector can then move forward to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy.

Slade added: “The UK’s power sector is poised to make a real contribution to the country’s ongoing energy challenges. Working with government to develop a holistic approach to policy and long term policies that underpin the economic confidence of investors, the UK energy industry can deliver affordable reliable and clean energy now and into the future.

“But the energy sector cannot meet the country’s green goals alone and we are looking at ways to work with other industry sectors.

“We are already seeing new reliable and renewable sources of energy coming on stream while working with customers will continue to drive innovation putting power in the hands of users to deliver warmer and more energy efficient homes.

“This is an exciting time for the energy industry. The next 10 years will see many changes for the better, putting customers first and in control of the energy they use.”

Simon Virley, corporate finance partner at KPMG, added: “This report paints a picture of a GB power sector by 2030 that is more decentralised, more interconnected with Europe, with much greater energy efficiency and demand side response. 

“This ‘smarter’ energy system will give consumers more control and help keep bills down.”

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