Andrew Warren reveals how three years after the Energy Efficiency Deployment Office was scrapped, a new directorate has been quietly launched within government to drive forward UK energy efficiency efforts. A new £315m industrial energy transformation project is being created. From 2020, this will replace long-established schemes designed to encourage businesses to become more energy efficient, like Enhanced Capital Allowances and First Year Tax Credits. To deliver this new initiative, Business Secretary Greg Clark has established a new directorate in his department, charged with overseeing overall energy efficiency policy. It is being headed by newly promoted Ben Golding, who was previously overseeing residential energy efficiency policy within the Business department. Unlike its predecessor, the Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO), it has been launched with absolutely no razzmatazz. In contrast, in 2012 the then Secretary of State, Ed Davey, called a large business/press conference to launch the Office, describing the issue as his “number one priority”. With 80 civil servants now attached to the new directorate, Golding’s energy efficiency team will oversee policy areas dealing with business, public sector, products and residential usage. Special co-ordinating working parties have been created with the Department of Transport and with those within the Communities Department who oversee buildings. Long delayed initiatives to require landlords to improve the most gas-guzzling buildings have at last begun, with standards set to be tightened regularly – hopefully accompanied by effective statutory powers to ensure implementation. Such powers need to be extended to owner-occupiers, particularly at times of sale. Another key area will be addressing the growing problem of fuel poverty. Since 2015, when the former EEDO was so unceremoniously abandoned, the number of households suffering fuel poverty in England has continued to increase by a further 210,000, up to 2.55 million households.
Business Green 6th Dec 2018 read more »