The Energyst recently surveyed directors, senior managers and consultants for the 2017 Directors’ Report, asking participants to suggest one action for government or regulator to take in 2017.
Certainty was a common theme:
“Set a cross party 10-20 year plan for energy production / regulation / charges and to stick to it and not constantly alter policy,” said one.
“Think holistically about the future and vision of the energy market, and stop wasting money on short-term fixes with very low value,” said another.
“Have a strategy,” was one succinct response. Several other respondents made comments in the same vein.
A number of respondents commented on energy efficiency and Esos legislation:
“Make energy efficiency a legal requirement for all businesses,” said one. Several respondents called for energy efficiency to be subsidised or incentivised.
“Keep Esos but enforce the penalties,” suggested one director. “Make Esos and acting upon Esos mandatory for all businesses (you could then cancel Heat Network regs),” advised a consultant.
Related to that were calls for mandatory performance levels – or at least visibility of performance – in buildings.
“Set a new zero carbon target for new buildings. It is horrendous to see the shambles of new buildings that have very poor energy performance, often with BREAAM excellent ratings, using three times the design spec of energy and causing health problems to the occupants,” was perhaps the most emphatic suggestion.
“Extend DECs to private sector,” said another.
“Improve Building Regulation/enforcement that requires buildings and their services to actually achieve improved performance. Non-compliance should incur penalties and require the developer etc. to rectify,” suggested one respondent.
Several individuals called for the Carbon Price Support mechanism to be scrapped to increase competitiveness of UK firms versus overseas companies, and a handful of respondents urged the government to set out how supply will be secured and its mechanism for ensuring long-term energy security.
A number of respondents called for renewables support or subsidy, with support for batteries cropping up more often than other technologies, such as solar.
Others called for all subsidies to be scrapped and for government to let the market deliver at lowest cost. There were also calls for business energy and environmental taxes to be reduced (or scrapped, in one case) and reporting simplified.
One respondent called for TPIs to be regulated. One called for “free energy for all” on the basis of “don’t ask, don’t get”.
If you were to scrap one EU-related energy law, what would it be?
The survey also asked respondents which EU laws they would drop. Two topics cropped up most often.
Around 20% of suggestions related to Esos.
“Esos – complete waste of time when there is no penalty for not implementing the recommendations,” said one.
“Esos. We are in a CCA and it means duplication of work and cost,” said another.
“Esos, as it came at considerable cost and provided nothing more than information, which may have already been known, but [some firms were] unable to act due to restricted cash flow. Esos funds could have assisted with energy reduction,” suggested one respondent, and there were several variations on that theme.
A similar number of respondents called for the EU ETS to be scrapped, largely due to cost and competitiveness.
A handful of responses related to the CRC. Respondents described it as “unworkable”, “too onerous for narrow emissions reporting benefit” and “not an effective reduction incentive”.
Two respondents called for VAT to be scrapped or reduced on fuel/energy or energy efficiency related products.
Another suggested dropping renewable energy targets “as there are more efficient ways to decarbonise the economy, such as a mixture of nuclear, gas and energy efficiency”, while another suggested allowing “man made waste heat” to qualify for renewable subsidy.
One respondent suggested “[removing the] €2.5 cap on generator TNUoS charges as it distorts the market.”
One respondent would ditch the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, “[as] the requirement has been badly implemented/managed and does not produce the desired improvements”.
One respondent would get rid of the Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations 2014 “[as it is] complex around who would qualify and very time consuming to work out if in scope or out of scope”.
The Directors’ Report polls businesses about their energy and water strategies for the year ahead. It also contains the views of third party intermediaries, suppliers and energy managers on the key risks and opportunities facing business from a utility perspective.
Download the report here, free of charge.
If you have any better suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.