Engineers tell government to pay for energy efficiency, storage and tidal power

Cash for demand reduction would be money well spent, say engineers

The UK’s main engineering bodies have urged government to provide energy efficiency payments or tax breaks to businesses, communities and households that can demonstrate proven reductions in demand.

The Energy Saving Incentive scheme is one of many recommendations based on the views of 1,300 engineers from 35 engineering bodies surveyed in response to the government’s Industrial Strategy consultation.

The engineers also urged government to give teeth to existing energy efficiency regulations. Esos, notes the report, could unlock more than £31bn of savings over the net 13 years – if companies were required to act upon mandatory energy audits.

Focusing on energy efficiency and productivity will be the cheapest way of decarbonising the economy and increasing UK competitiveness the report suggests. It urged policymakers to take a system-wide approach to energy with particular focus on heat.

Lamenting the scrapping of carbon capture and storage support, the report reiterated views that CCS would be “critical” for meeting carbon budgets after 2023 and likely “essential” in decarbonising heat.

The engineers also backed support for small nuclear reactors, heat networks and hydrogen trials. According to survey respondents, tidal power is “the most important renewable power source to be supported” as it is “reliable and does not require back-up, and has huge potential in the UK”.

While the UK is a leader in offshore wind, the report also highlighted the fact that the value of its supply chain is mainly heading offshore.

Meanwhile, three quarters (74%) of respondents said that government should prioritise support for clean energy technologies and storage via the £1bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, a view government appears to share.

The wide-ranging report also recommends changes to public procurement practises to focus on best value over lowest cost, and to enable smaller firms to participate in tenders; facilitating regional co-ordination of infrastructure development; and for accounting treatment of assets to switch to a Totex (total expenditure) model to ensure best value.

See the report here.

Related stories:

Government should subsidies energy efficiency over renewables and give Esos teeth

Government backs batteries and AI to crack smart grid conundrum

Government confirms support rates for offshore wind, wave and tidal power

UK manufacturers say Esos not working, DSR too complicated and Triad needs reform

Can industry help government fix energy efficiency policy?

Esos and the slow death of energy management

M&S boss: There is more low hanging energy efficiency fruit than ever

Battery storage: Positive outlook or does a correction loom?

Tesla: People don’t engage with energy bills, but they will have to

Ofgem: Energy flexibility will become more valuable than energy efficiency

Infrastructure chief: UK could be energy storage world leader if government acts now 

National Grid says impact of solar requires greater system flexibility

Renewable heat subsidy schemes ‘wasting money’ by ruling out waste heat

National Grid boss: future of energy is demand not supply

Free report: Financing energy efficiency

Free report: The heat report 2016

Click here to see if you qualify for a free subscription to the print magazine, or to renew.

Follow us at @EnergystMedia. For regular bulletins, sign up for the free newsletter.


  1. That energy efficiency is the best value option to reduce carbon emissions was the centrepiece of the Government’s Energy White Paper way back in 2003. So this recommendation( whilst welcome) shouldn’t come as any surprise . I wonder whether this time round it might be implemented ?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here