Our new policy briefing proposes a twin-track strategy for domestic energy use that will fairly address both affordability and security challenges.
The UK is in the midst of an energy affordability crisis, while the threat of an energy security looms. Both of these urgent issues can be addressed in part by improving energy efficiency and by reducing the UK’s overall energy demand.
Our new policy briefing, The energy price crisis – issues for energy use – proposes a twin-track strategy for domestic energy use that will fairly address both affordability and security challenges. This strategy would focus on high-income households taking the main responsibility for rapid reductions in energy use (which helps to address security risks), and low-income households being the main beneficiaries of policy to reduce prices and increase incomes and as well as being prioritised for programmes of housing energy efficiency improvement (addressing affordability concerns).
Crucially, this approach should support long-term goals on net-zero. There should be no reductions in ambition, targets or financial support for long-term climate goals. The crisis is an additional reason to begin a planned long-term approach to demand reduction, not to avoid it.
- Addressing affordability concerns through a combination of targeted support to low-income households and Government support to lower the price cap,
- A major programme of evidence-based public information and advice,
- Measures to reduce energy demand in public buildings,
- A boost to projects supporting basic housing fitness and low-cost energy efficiency,
- Funding for local authorities, charities etc. already working to address fuel poverty,
- Increased support for active transport and public transport, and
- Policies to encourage and/or require lower car speeds.
This plan should be the first step of long-term consistent strategy to reduce energy demand, aligning energy security, affordability and climate policy goals, including through:
- A delivery plan for energy demand reduction and decarbonisation across all sectors,
- A more detailed policy framework for heat decarbonisation and demand reduction,
- A major increase in skills investment to increase and improve building energy efficiency,
- Increases in the energy supplier energy saving obligations (ECO),
- Revision of the fuel poverty strategy to address radically changed circumstances, and
- A review of the way retail energy markets are regulated.
The energy price crisis – issues for energy use was written by Prof Nick Eyre, Director of CREDS (University of Oxford) and Prof Tadj Oreszczyn (UCL).
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