Question: How many acronyms does it take to fix the energy market? Answer: apparently quite a lot.
As Angela Knight, new chief exec of Energy UK quipped at The Energy Event yesterday: “You’re a sector which doesn’t exactly have a moratorium on acronyms.”
We’re certainly not short of long-winded – sorry, named – policy schemes. Just look at the crazy number of clustered alphabetty-spaghetti symbols littering government reports and news articles.
Most of them – apart from the straightforward DECC – all refer to some scheme or other designed to save the electricity market from its own failings.
It’s a classic example, I think, of where we complicate things unnecessarily. That’s exactly what the Electricity Market Reform package (a crucial chunk of the Energy Bill) is meant to change: make things simpler, easier, fairer.
That includes simplifying bills, both the layout and the language, ditching the gibberish too readily spouted by suppliers.
That’s all very well for consumers. What about people trying to understand the energy sector as a whole? Trying to make it work better?
Looking at the new Energy Bill, we’ve got CfDs and FiTs coming out of our ears. That FiT is similar too, but not the same as, the solar FiTs which caused such brouhaha earlier this year.
There’s the EPS – which you’ll end up mistaking for the EU ETS if you’re not paying attention.
There’s the CRC Energy Efficiency scheme, once just called the Carbon Reduction Commitment, the EMR, TPIs, ROCs, RHI… It’s the energy sector joke that just goes on. And on.
Soon there will come a point (if it hasn’t already) when things will become so ridiculous, we could begin talking like robots, the jumbled up letters tumbling off our twisted tongues like beeps and clicks of our laptops.
Heaven help new Energy Minister John Hayes. If he wants to get his head around the sector sharpish, he’d better start with an energy dictionary.