That’s the verdict reached in a new report from Energy UK, which says the entire sector must be transformed to deliver better results for customers, through the use of next-generation technologies.
It says the UK Government must create clear requirements and targets for domestic energy efficiency and low carbon heating to drive the transition to a low carbon economy, noting incentives and support must also be used to work towards the wide-scale electrification of heat and solve the problem of inefficient housing and fuel poverty.
The trade association calls for regulations governing retail suppliers to be changed, with the goal of increasing competition and improving choice for customers by allowing tailored services to be offered whilst still maintaining consumer protections.
It says local partnerships must be empowered to deliver a mix of potential low carbon heating solutions suited to their communities and businesses and also emphasises that flexibility technologies must be considered as a cheaper alternative to reinforcing the network with traditional power infrastructure.
The report suggests smart charging should be made the default option for drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce demand on the grid and keep bills down – this follows Jaguar Land Rover launching what it claims is the largest smart charging facility in the UK.
Energy UK believes all low carbon technologies must be given an equal footing to continue to drive costs down for consumers and stresses a stable policy framework is needed to give investors the confidence to fund the billions of pounds worth of investment required.
Lawrence Slade, Energy UK’s CEO said: “Our sector is already undergoing a transformation and as it continues, it will present huge opportunities and challenges, as outlined in this report.
“Get these right and we can deliver enormous benefits to customers, the environment, and the economy – but as recent protests, along with warnings from expert bodies, have highlighted, urgent action is required if we are to continue meeting our climate change commitments.”