This will be a big year for climate change in the UK and around the world. The UK is set to host the all-important UN conference on climate change, COP26 in Glasgow, where countries are expected to put forward enhanced ambition on mitigation and financing to deal with the crisis. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our domestic and international leadership on the issue. Read more
Tag Archives: Energy efficiency
This post is by Colin Hines, convenor of the UK Green New Deal Group.
The environment movement needs to learn two lessons from the election result. First, that despite all the coverage of climate events and growing public clamour for something drastic to be done about it, 12 December was definitely not a ‘climate election’. Read more
This post is by Andrew Warren, chair of the British Energy Efficiency Federation.
UK electricity consumption is 18 per cent lower than it was 15 years ago. Some two thirds of that drop is due to the implementation of European Union policy on energy using products. Read more
This post is by Bruce Davis, founder and joint managing director of Abundance Investment
The current housing crisis is, alongside Brexit, the political hot potato. According to a recent report from Shelter, 1.15 million households were on the waiting list for social housing last year, with only 290,000 homes made available.
This post is by Sam Hall, senior researcher at Bright Blue and author of Green conservatives? Understanding what conservatives think about the environment
From the great housebuilding programme of Harold MacMillan in the 1950s to Anthony Eden’s and Margaret Thatcher’s championing of a property owning democracy, conservatives intuitively value the home. It embodies and animates central conservative ideas of personal responsibility, family and aspiration.
Home energy improvements should be a natural fit for this vision. After all, they are a renovation that adds value to a property, increases its comfort levels and reduces its running costs. And attractive and innovative consumer products like solar photovoltaics, smart meters and battery storage enable households to take responsibility for their home’s energy and environmental impact.
Energy efficiency is often seen as a win-win: falling energy use benefits consumers and the environment, whilst it also allows the economy to grow. However, our recent research into energy rebound or ‘take back’ (when energy efficiency can be cancelled out by changes in people’s behaviour) suggests it may hamper the effectiveness of policy aimed at reducing energy use and its associated carbon emissions. Read more
This post is by Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Buildings Council (UK-GBC).
Buildings are responsible for around a third of our greenhouse gas emissions, and have by far the most potential for achieving cost effective greenhouse gas reductions compared to other sectors.
This post is by Andy Ford, director of the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB) at London South Bank University and Bruce Tofield, associate consultant with the Adapt Low Carbon Group at the Passivhaus Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia.
What’s the easiest thing that we could do to reduce energy use, tackle climate change and make life healthier, more affordable and more comfortable for millions of people in the UK; something that will also promote higher productivity, quality and skills?
Do you remember the old lady who swallowed a fly? Her chosen remedy – to swallow a spider in hope of catching the fly – unfortunately made things worse: said spider wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She dealt with this unintended consequence by swallowing a bird, which didn’t help either. Bird led to cat led to dog, goat and then cow (I don’t know how). The sad denouement came when she swallowed a horse, and died. Of course.
The British electricity system is starting to look worryingly like that poor old lady. The government, dissatisfied with what the markets are delivering, is proposing modification after modification, in the hope that one day the ‘neutral’ market will deliver the government’s ever more obvious technology preferences. It looks as if our energy policy designers have forgotten their nursery rhymes.
After a summer of wiping the slate clean, the one remaining certainty about the government’s attitude to UK energy policy is that it is committed to minimising cost. This was the aim behind last week’s Big Energy Saving Week, the core ‘switch and save’ message being that customers can save money by switching suppliers. This was odd, given that switching has nothing to do with saving energy.