Investing in energy efficiency could save the UK 196 TWh by 2020, according to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change’s first Energy Efficiency Strategy.
The Strategy is aimed at changing the way sectors such as transport, manufacturing and housing use energy over the coming decades. It also includes new initiatives to kick-start UK energy efficiency, including:
- Investing £39 million to fund five centers examining business and household energy demand. The five End Use Energy Demand Centers, funded by the Research Councils UK and project partners and led by universities, will look at what drives energy demand and how to change future behavior.
- Introducing an energy-efficiency labeling trial with department store John Lewis. DECC and John Lewis will start a product-labeling trial in 2013 that shows the lifetime running costs of household appliances. A similar trial in Norway showed this information led to consumers purchasing goods that are more energy efficient, DECC says.
- Rolling out RE:FIT nationwide. RE:FIT is the Mayor of London’s scheme to reduce carbon emissions in greater London and help public-sector organizations achieve financial savings by improving the energy performance of their buildings. The government is also working with ENWORKS in the North West to understand how best to finance and upgrade to more energy efficient equipment in commercial and manufacturing businesses.
The energy efficiency sector in the UK already accounts for around 136,000 jobs, and had sales of £17.6 billion in 2010-11, DECC reports. Sales in this sector have grown by more than 4 percent per year in the UK since 2007-08, and the government projects sale to continue to grow by about 5 percent per year between 2010-11 and 2014-15.
The Energy Efficiency Strategy draws on a Call for Evidence published by DECC in February this year. It includes three Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs), looking into energy efficiency innovation required at a commercial, industrial and household scale.
DECC will continue publishing reports to guide the implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which needs to be fully implemented by Spring 2014. The Directive is a step toward the EU’s target to reduce primary energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 against its 2007 business as usual projections.