Map to the Future
Energy UK today publishes its Future of Energy report, setting out a way forward for the sector to deliver better for its customers as advances in technology and the vital need to decarbonise our economy transform the way we use, generate, store and transport energy.
The report looks at the future opportunities and urgent challenges faced across every aspect of the energy system and how best to meet these in order to deliver a market that works for all its customers.
The scope of the energy sector is wider and more interrelated than ever before so in compiling the report, Energy UK has been working with those who will play a key role such as customer representatives and charities, government and regulators as well as its own members - while also drawing on expertise from academics and the business, transport and building sectors.
The Future of Energy report includes proposals and recommendations to kickstart the action needed in a wide number of areas including:
- Changing current ‘one size fits all’ regulation for retail suppliers to increase competition and choice for customers by allowing providers to offer tailored services whilst maintaining consumer protections;
- Clear requirements and targets for energy efficiency and low carbon heating in all our homes to drive change alongside incentives and support;
- Empowering local partnerships to deliver a variety of potential low carbon heating solutions that best suit their communities and businesses;
- Making smart charging the default option for EV drivers to reduce demand on the grid and keep bills down along with establishing a core network of ultra-rapid chargers;
- Ensuring all low carbon technologies have the same opportunities to further drive costs down for consumers while providing a stable policy framework that will give investors the confidence to fund the billions of investment needed;
- Giving flexibility technologies the chance to provide cheaper alternatives to network reinforcements.
Lawrence Slade, Energy UK’s chief executive said:
“Our sector is already undergoing a transformation and as it continues, it will present huge opportunities and challenges, as outlined in this report.
“Get these right and we can deliver enormous benefits to customers, the environment, and the economy – but as recent protests, along with warnings from expert bodies, have highlighted, urgent action is required if we are to continue meeting our climate change commitments.
“As a sector we’ve led the way so far by halving emissions in the last ten years with the growth of renewables meaning that the majority of our electricity generation now comes from low carbon sources - and at an ever-falling cost to customers.
“But this progress will be wasted unless we press ahead, not just by continuing to decarbonise our sources of power, but crucially by doing the same in other sectors like heating and transport and getting serious about making our homes and businesses energy efficient.
“Setting clear targets and expectations in these areas will give the signal for the industry, in partnership with others, to bring the same innovation and investment that has already delivered results when moving to cleaner sources of power.
“The necessary change must be delivered in a way that is fair to all our customers. The future energy system will be very different from the one we have known and we need to bring all customers with us through this transformation, regardless of how much they want to - or can - get involved in how their energy services are provided and recognising that some will continue to need support throughout.”
Writing in the report’s foreword, Citizens Advice’s chief executive Gillian Guy, says:
“The coming years could bring an even greater revolution of how to deliver energy, with data and technology unlocking new opportunities for consumers. But there are likely to be ongoing challenges, including informing, encouraging and protecting consumers who have for decades grown accustomed to the status quo.
“Furthermore, it’s clear that some people will need more support to access a good range of products in a future market. Not only must the transition be fair, but it must also be clearly seen to be so.
“Citizens Advice welcomes the focus on the consumer and many of the recommendations behind Energy UK’s Future of Energy vision. This report sets out clearly the challenges this sector faces and a vision of a future market and we look forward to working with Energy UK and its members to realise the reality of a truly consumer-focused energy future.”
In addition to the summary, the report also includes five sections looking in details at different aspects of the energy transition:
• The future retail market and customers’ relationship with it
• Funding future electricity generation and system services
• Reducing emissions from buildings
• The sustainable transition to a low carbon road transport system
• Transporting energy to and from customers through transmission and distribution networks.
Notes to Editors
Energy UK is the trade association for the GB energy industry with a membership of over 100 suppliers, generators, and stakeholders with a business interest in the production and supply of electricity and gas for domestic and business consumers. Our membership covers over 90% of both UK power generation and the energy supply market for UK homes. We represent the diverse nature of the UK’s energy industry – from established FTSE 100 companies right through to new, growing suppliers and generators, which now make up over half of our membership.
Our members turn renewable energy sources as well as nuclear, gas and coal into electricity for over 27 million homes and every business in Britain. Over 680,000 people in every corner of the country rely on the sector for their jobs, with many of our members providing long-term employment as well as quality apprenticeships and training for those starting their careers. The energy industry invests over £12.5bn annually, delivers around £84bn in economic activity through its supply chain and interaction with other sectors, and pays £6bn in tax to HMT.