Government announces new energy efficiency measures that will save businesses ‘£1bn a year by 2030’
The government announced yesterday (15 October) a package of energy efficiency measures for businesses, in an official response to recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change.
The report comes 4 months after the UK became the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050, and also sets out details of the wide-ranging action taken so far.
New measures announced include:
- proposals to dramatically improve commercial buildings in the private rented sector, with businesses set to benefit by saving up to £1 billion per year in energy bills by 2030, according to the government. This includes a consultation on plans to improve the energy performance of rented commercial buildings. The proposal to set minimum energy efficiency standards at EPC band B by 2030 ‘could reduce UK emissions by the equivalent of half a million homes – roughly the size of Birmingham’.
- a consultation in 2020 on introducing mandatory in-use energy performance ratings for business buildings.
- a consultation on proposals to make it simpler for large-scale energy storage facilities to obtain planning permission.
- an endorsement of the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce, unlocking the potential of data sharing across the energy system to support decarbonisation and reduce consumer bills.
The new Environment Bill was also introduced in Parliament yesterday (15 October). The Bill outlines proposals to strengthen the UK’s standards of environmental protection post-Brexit with the establishment of a new public body – the Office for Environmental Protection, which will also hold government and other public bodies to account on their environmental obligations, including on climate change.
On the same day, the UK’s first Transport Decarbonisation Plan was also announced, to bring together ‘a bold and ambitious programme of coordinated action’ to end the UK’s transport emissions by 2050.
Due to be complete next year, the plan will set out in detail what government, business and society will need to do to deliver the significant emissions reduction needed from all modes of transport. In particular it will consider how UK technology and innovation can be implemented to encourage major changes to the way people and goods move across the UK.
Earlier this month, the government announced up to £1 billion to develop and embed the next generation of cutting-edge automotive technologies. The funding will look to accelerate mass production of key technologies in the UK through major investments in the manufacturing of batteries including cells, modules and packs as well as electric motors, power electronics and hydrogen fuel cells.
The new money will include research and development into new, advanced electric vehicle technologies, helping to super-charge the uptake of zero emission vehicles in the UK, building on the £1 billion R&D commitment to the Advanced Propulsion Centre and £274 million funding for the Faraday Battery Challenge
Further detail on how the UK will make progress towards the 2050 net zero target is expected in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.