Discussions and deliberations over how to run the smart meter roll-out have been going on for years: over technical capabilities, specifications and logistics…. But it is only in the last few months that thought has turned in earnest to how to engage people with the process. Read more
“[Consumers will] want a joined up experience of the government’s energy policies, regardless of the individual policy mechanisms and their origin.”
This quote could so easily have come from the report that Faye Scott and I wrote for Green Alliance that was published this week. Neither Sermons nor silence: the case for national communications on energy use argued for a joined-up national communications strategy for all household energy policies. But these quotes didn’t come from our report, they came from DECC, from their recent consultation on how to engage consumers on the smart meter roll out. Read more
The Energy Saving Trust’s recent report The Elephant in the Living Room shows that our growing use of appliances for home entertainment and computing means that domestic electricity use likely to keep rising – despite increased efficiency in other areas.
We are now using multiple screens at home, often simultaneously (smart phones, ipads, laptops, TVs in kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms) and by 2020 these will contribute the largest proportion of domestic electricity use. Read more
Recently DECC released three consultations on the delivery of smart meters to every home in the country. The first on technical specifications, the second on the code of practice detailing how the installation should take place and the third on how the data from smart meters should be accessed and shared.
These are critical consultations for delivering energy savings in the UK. But there’s a danger that energy savings won’t be at the forefront of DECC officials’ minds when they’re considering the responses. That’s because not very many people are likely to mention it. Read more
Now Green Alliance, and four other NGOs- WWF, RSPB, Greenpeace and Christian Aid- are holding them to their word when it comes to policies to tackle climate change. Read more
The Cabinet Office “Nudge unit” brought out its report on behaviour change and energy use this Wednesday, buried in a news week dominated by the scandal of phone-hacking and the implosion of the News of the World.
Whilst there is a lot to question in it- more on which to follow next week- I just wanted to highlight one great element: until the roll out of the full domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) next year, the government will be considering how to apply behavioural insights to the policy design of the RHI to maximise uptake. Read more
The Energy Bill has had its second reading in the Commons this week, in a debate that was characterised by an amazing degree of cross-party consensus. Whilst most MPs were arguing over how to make the Bill stronger in one way or another, there was not a single dissenting voice disputing the need for energy efficiency. This is the beauty of energy saving, it is a win-win situation for all involved.
But most positive about the debate was the glimmer of hope that the Green Deal was about to start getting a bit greener. Right now I’d put it in the pale celadon category, which for those of you not expert in colour variations is the pale tint of green seen in spring; ie promising shoots, but a long way to go. Read more
Every government comes in with good intentions on energy saving, and leaves having made only a marginal impact on UK energy demand. This government has ambitions to change that with the Green Deal.
The Green Deal certainly has great potential. But as governments in other countries have learnt, removing the upfront cost of insulation and other energy efficiency measures doesn’t mean that people will install them. Read more
“Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink” so states Coleridge in his lyrical poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This is the curse of those attempting to get attention for water efficiency. We live in a country that, to the average person, suffers from too much water, ie rain, rather than too little. Read more
“We will legislate to allow the energy companies to incentivise owner-occupiers, so if they want to offer the chance of a cruise for two to the Norwegian fjords that’s something they can do through the eco-obligation. Or it could be a cash voucher, cash rebate, or rebate on your energy bill for a year or two years. It’s up to the energy companies.”
How about insulate your loft and get a hummer or a patio heater? Read more