UK energy use continues to fall
This month the Government released 2017 figures on our energy use.
The detail is astounding; low carbon electricity’s share of generation increased from 45.6 per cent to a record 50.1 per cent, driven by the increase in renewables generation. And, final energy consumption fell by 0.7 per cent.
Business Green noted a yet more vital trend within the numbers. Primary energy consumption in the UK, it explains, has now fallen by 19 per cent since the start of the century.
Actual figures are 236,856 ktoe then, 192,126 ktoe now. This has happened even though our overall wealth as a nation has grown over that period by well over one-half.
Put simply, Business Green believes we have succeeded in decoupling growth in living standards from growth in energy consumption.
“The release of these energy figures is a true reason for everyone in the energy efficiency sector to celebrate,” comments Kevin Cox, CEO, Energys.
“Low carbon is now well and truly established on the UK and world stages. And tellingly, as we push on towards newer and loftier goals, we expect to see the proportion of savings provided by energy efficiency grow exponentially.”
In other positive news, the Mayor of London launched his £500m energy efficiency fund.
Utility Week said the energy fund has been launched in London to help hospitals, universities and small businesses cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2025.
The Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) will provide finance to fund new low carbon technology or upgrade existing infrastructure, with an investment period of up to 20 years.
The announcement follows a study by the Green Finance Taskforce which revealed many public sector organisations are unable to install energy efficient measures due to a lack of necessary finance.
Gab Barbaro, Managing Director at British Gas Business, said, “Improving the energy efficiency and resilience of public buildings and business premises in London will bring significant benefits for all; reduced costs, lower carbon emissions and increased productivity.
“But we know that securing funding and boardroom buy-in can be significant challenges.”
“I agree,” comments our own MD, Kevin Cox. “Finance can be a big challenge. At Energys Group we can help with planning, funding applications, and we offer the tools to get energy efficiency on the boardroom table. We also have our own finance and funding options too – this gives energy professionals a choice of routes.”
Energy price war continues
Finally this month, The Independent is reporting that British Gas owner Centrica shed 340,000 UK customer accounts in the first 6 months of this year, during which time the energy provider announced a price hike affecting 4.1 million households.
The news reflects a continuing challenge for the UK energy sector; providing power at a reasonable price to the UK’s people.
Against the price hikes, Centrica’s revenue was up 7 per cent in the first half to £15.3bn, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation rose 3 per cent to £1.3bn.
The group also highlighted “ongoing political and regulatory uncertainty” as challenging factors. There is a sense among the sector that many energy providers are passing over the costs of smart meter installation and the development of a more flexible grid to consumers.
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