E.ON to Johnson:  ”Get a grip on decarb, give industry your deliverable details”


Britain’s biggest electricity provider today lambasts its prime minister, calling for substance and action to be injected into the Johnson government’s under-substantiated strategy of its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

E.On UK boss Michael Lewistoday tells ministers in a white paper that Britain will struggle to meet Johnson’s goals of a 78% cut in emissions by 2035, without immediate accelerated action from ministers.

In E.On’s paper ‘Carbon Countdown: the road to 2030’, the CEO advances the firm’s own 10 steps – in the absence of detail from Whitehall – towards progressing home insulation, the electrification of heat & transport, building heat networks & other decarbonising policies.

“We don’t have to do it all immediately, but we need to get moving now,” says Lewis.

“At [Britain’s] current pace, we haven’t got a hope unless government catalyses faster tangible change.”

E.On’s ten short-term actions are intended to be easily identifiable by ministers and by implication, easy to implement. They include:

  • Whitehall developing a detailed net zero road map to 2050
  • Setting a date for banning the sale of fossil fuel boilers
  • Implementing stronger building norms, ensuring all properties are built to zero carbon standards
  • Accelerating the roll out of low carbon district heating networks

A “high profile communications campaign” is needed from Johnson’s ministers, says E.On, encouraging households to decarbonise homes and activities. Simpler schemes are needed too to help poorest households complete green home retrofits.

‘Building renovation passports’ introduced to guide home owners in their decarbonisation efforts over the next decade can help galvanise the public behind the need to decarbonise the buildings they own, the power retailer argues.

Businesses need signs too¸ particularly small ones, according to E.On. Better schemes must promote energy efficiency more directly and more persuasively.

Whitehall must deliver more sustainable framework for carbon leakage protection. Thus the international playing field would be levelled, and bigger businesses prompted to improve energy mamagement.

“The decisions we take, the investments we make, and the path we follow in the next ten years will decide whether we are on the right road to meet the [net zero] goal,” Lewis argues.

“Net zero by 2050 is achievable. With the right investment climate, business will positively respond and bequeath a more sustainable future to our children.”

Adding to its existing 3.8 million accounts, in March E.On transferred a further two million former npower UK accountsover to its billing platform.

Whitehall’s dithering, not least over the much-delayed Buildings and Heat Strategy, is seen by campaigners as hindering necessary decarbonisation of the UK’s 29 million homes.

E.ON’s urgings on Johnson come the day after the CBI warned his administration needs to show greater follow-through, if it is to unlock levels of private sector investment needed to make a reality of its Net Zero proclamations.


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