Energy Institute’s 2017 Barometer Report defines 5 challenges facing the energy efficiency industry

Category: Industry
Energy Institute's 2017 Barometer Report defines 5 challenges facing the energy efficiency industry

In light of the recently-published Energy Institute Barometer Report, our energy-saving experts at Greenlite Group thought we’d prepare a quick round up of the 5 big themes from the report’s findings.

Number 1; Energy policy

Chief among today’s challenges, says The Energy Institute (TEI), is progressing the low carbon energy transition for the long-term, in the context of short-term political uncertainty.

It’s a polarising dilemma; one that means low carbon, energy efficient businesses need to get their lobbying boots on, today. The message must be driven home at the highest level; energy efficiency can’t wait.

The UK’s energy transition must not lose pace. And that means those UK firms leading it must maintain a high level of pressure on politicians. Whether through internet forums or consultations, low carbon must fight hard amid a bewildering field of political complexity.

Energy price caps were mooted pre-election; now they are out to pasture. Can we lobby for energy efficiency to fill the gap?

Number 2; Low carbon tech pipeline

TEI argues that the UK, as a whole, must reduce its dependency on energy sources that release greenhouse gases across the whole system, in electricity generation, heat and transport.

The answers must come at least cost, involving emerging technologies which are being led towards commercialisation and away from subsidy.

So, suppliers must have the very best tech ready and fit to fill the dependency gap. More and more businesses are putting energy efficiency on the priority list, but proactivity from tech suppliers is still a prerequisite for ensuring the low carbon transition comes at haste.

It’s tough, but such fantastic new tech must be capable of standing on its own two feet; free of subsidy and intervention.

Number 3; Security of supply

Despite the fact a low carbon UK is essential, TEI notes that security of supply, to keep industry wheels turning, must be maintained.

Challenges to future security of supply include impending loss of generating capacity, increases in demand, current dependence on imports and uncertainty stemming from geopolitics.

That said, we already know the pound that’s unspent is the cheapest form of energy, and that’s where efficiency comes into its own.

If more load can be removed from the grid by efficiency, this can counteract generating capacity losses. So, vital alleviation through efficiency must be lobbied for and given its due place in the plan.

Number 4; Investment and cost

TEI argues that assuring investment and managing cost are key to security of supply and the transition to a low carbon energy system.

But, challenges to securing investment include policy uncertainty, long payback periods linked to high capital costs, and competition for limited funding.

These are age old concerns for the sector. Our new financing models have [insert relevant link for client] have gone some way towards solving this.

But overall, energy efficiency must increasingly deliver bottom line benefits, and rock solid business cases, to help those boards seeking low carbon solutions, but whose overarching goal is book balancing.

Number 5; Brexit

The great unknown. TEI emphasises the need to maintain clarity and commitment on energy policy, both during the Brexit negotiation process and within future strategy.

There are further concerns about price fluctuation, free movement of people and investment uncertainty. What about EU energy directives and UK compliance?

At this stage, we simply can’t know the ins and outs being planned by Theresa May. Brexit remains a vast concern for the energy sector as a whole.

The only knowable truth is that Brexit changes nothing about the benefits of efficiency and the requirement for low carbon. That, perhaps, is the only certainty out there today.

A plethora of challenges

Does our list ring a bell with you? How do today’s energy efficiency challenges, and solutions, match up with those facing your business?

Call us today for an informal chat about the ways Greenlite Group can help your business improve its low carbon.

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