New Proposals for Major Energy Saving, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs in the U.K. | Alliance to Save Energy

New Proposals for Major Energy Saving, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs in the U.K.

The Alliance to Save Energy News

New Proposals for Major Energy Saving, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs in the U.K.

Release Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the U.K., the Government’s Department of Energy & Climate Change recently released two proposals for new programs and one amendment to an existing program that would drastically reduce the greenhouse gas impact in the built environment while also helping residents – particularly the low-income, elderly and disabled – lower their energy bills.

The proposed initiatives, which recently completed their public comment stage, are the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP); the Heat and Energy Saving Strategy; and and amendment to the existing Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT). All set ambitious goals that include achieving ‘near-zero’ emissions from existing buildings by 2050; reducing energy suppliers’ emissions by 20 percent by Spring 2011; and obligating energy suppliers to assist low-income-communities to reduce their energy use. These programs would comprise a significant part of the U.K.’s overall target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one third by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

CESP would obligate electricity generators and marketers to meet a CO2 reduction target by working with households in low-income areas to apply a ‘whole house approach’ to improving their energy efficiency. The program specifies certain eligible measures that have a potential to reduce both greenhouse gasses and utility bills; it would also include district heating schemes, and allow some credit trading between suppliers and generators. In addition to contributing to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, CESP aims to reduce fuel poverty, defined in the U.K. as having to spend more than 10 percent of household income on fuel use. The program projects funding for around 100 schemes, representing 90,000 homes and creating an expected greenhouse gas emission reduction of nearly 4.5 million tons.

The Heat and Energy Saving Strategy focuses on the decarbonization of U.K. homes by providing owners free or inexpensive expert consultations on energy savings measures. According to Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband, the U.K. needs "to move from incremental steps forward on household energy efficiency to a comprehensive national plan – the Great British refurb.” In addition to providing education and consultation services, the plan aims to deliver 400,000 ‘whole-house makeovers’ per year by 2015.  It would also develop and support new finance packages to assist homeowners in paying for the needed efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.

The third proposal, an amendment to the existing CERT program, would increase emissions reduction targets by 20 percent for major energy suppliers to residential properties – from about 170 to 204 million lifetime tons of CO2. It would also provide new incentives for loft insulation and real-time energy display devices in homes to provide live feedback on homeowner's energy use. In order to deliver targeted savings to those most in need, the amendment requires that at least 40 percent of the program’s carbon reductions be met though efficiency improvements to low-income residents, the elderly or those receiving disability benefits.

Together, these programs represent a highly ambitious strategy of residential efficiency and weatherization upgrade efforts intended to generate impressive greenhouse gas emission reductions while helping to reduce utility bills for those in need. If approved, the U.K. government should be quick to take first steps to meet these goals – which, given that some have long time frames, might otherwise be left to languish beyond the political horizon.




Help the Alliance advocate for policies to use energy more efficiently – supporting job creation, reduced emissions, and lower costs. Contact your member of Congress.


Energy efficiency is smart, nonpartisan, and practical. So are we. Our strength comes from an unparalleled group of Alliance Associates working collaboratively under the Alliance umbrella to pave the way for energy efficiency gains.


The power of efficiency is in your hands. Supporting the Alliance means supporting a vision for using energy more productively to achieve economic growth, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security, affordability, and reliability.