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04 July 2013

Energy efficiency key to meeting UK’s carbon targets

Energy efficiency needs to be at the heart of UK energy policy for the nation to meet its ambitious carbon target of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050.

In a letter to Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, the head of the trade body for the energy sector has highlighted the need for the Government to get new energy efficiency schemes working and set out key challenges it is facing.

The call comes as the UK’s flagship energy policies, including the Green Deal scheme, has come under criticism lately and a new report published by the Committee on Climate Change suggested the Government could face an uphill struggle on reining in the nation’s carbon emissions in future.

Earlier this year Energy UK, with support from DECC, organised road shows in a number of towns and cities across the country where people raised concerns about the Green Deal and ECO. They suggested identifying the fuel poor and vulnerable households via data sharing, simplifying the schemes by making them 'clearer, less technical' and providing more guidance and flexibility around the measures installed.

Energy UK also claims the public remains largely unaware of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal scheme, with people calling for communication to be 'upfront and honest' in order to build trust with them.

Chief Executive Angela Knight said: “Energy efficiency schemes must work well for people to want to get involved with them. Problems with Green Deal and ECO need to be ironed out quickly for them to be in the best interests of customers so they can cut their energy use and have warmer, more comfortable homes. The new schemes are still bedding down and the work Energy UK has been doing, with support and involvement from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, highlights a number of areas where improvements can be made and lessons can be learned.”

DECC's new report published last week, however, claims the Government’s Green Deal initiative is 'inspiring people across the UK' to install energy saving homes improvements following speculation the uptake has been slow.