Government’s new efficiency strategy to ‘kick-start a revolution’

The UK Government’s new strategy for efficiency is expected to ‘kick-start a revolution’ and save up to 22 power stations worth of energy by 2020. DECC’s first ‘Energy Efficiency Strategy’ […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government’s new strategy for efficiency is expected to ‘kick-start a revolution’ and save up to 22 power stations worth of energy by 2020.

DECC’s first ‘Energy Efficiency Strategy’ published today suggests the country could be saving 196TWh of energy in 2020 through “socially cost-effective” investment in energy efficiency. This could help cut emissions by around 41 Metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent and contribute towards reducing greenhouse gas by 80% by 2050.

The strategy is aimed at changing the way energy is used in different sectors such as housing, transport and manufacturing in the next few decades, with “immediate action”.

The new plan follows research by Consumer Focus released last week, which suggested investing in energy efficiency is one of the best ways to boost the UK economy, create more jobs and tackle fuel poverty.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have put energy efficiency at the very heart of the Government’s energy policy. Using energy more wisely is absolutely vital in a world of increased pressure on resources and rising prices. Not only can energy efficiency help save money on bills and cut emissions, it can support green jobs, innovation and enterprise.

“This is Britain’s first comprehensive Energy Efficiency Strategy and sets out the action we are taking now, as well as what we will do in the future to ensure the UK continues to be a global leader in reducing energy use.”

A £39 million grant from the Research Councils UK will fund five centres looking at what drives energy demand and how to change future behaviour. The Government will be working with John Lewis on an energy efficiency labelling trial next year which shows the lifetime running costs of household appliances.

According to DECC’s statistics, the energy efficiency sector already accounts for around 136,000 jobs and had sales of £17.6 billion in 2010/11. It also suggests sales in the sector have grown by more than 4% per year in the UK since 2007/08 and are expected to rise by around 5% per year between 2010/11 and 2014/15.