Below is a list of policy documents and consultations that CEE is considering making responses to (listed in date order of responses required). Draft responses will be added to this page for member comments. If you would like to input into any of our responses, please email us.
Green Deal Framework
This call for evidence from BEIS seeks to address the low uptake of Green Deal and begins the process of a fundamental review of the Framework. The rationale for such a review is based on the potential for a future role for PAYS (Pay As You Save) and its potential to increase the numbers of energy efficiency improvements. Other factors being assessed include the scope for simplification, changes in the wider industry and policy context including recommendations from the Each Home Counts report and technological developments.
Deadline: 23 November
Ofgem smarter use of network capacity and fairness on costs
Ofgem has published two working papers related to charging for electricity networks. The first working paper, "Reform of electricity network access and forward looking charges", relates to proposed reforms to ensure that network users are encouraged to connect to and use the system as efficiently as possible. It also examines how network capacity could be traded or transferred between users.
The second paper is an update on the Targeted Charging Review, which is about ensuring that networks recover historic or fixed network costs in a way that is fair across all customers. Their key proposal is for residual charges to be recovered from suppliers rather than generators or a combination of suppliers and generators.
The aim of this work is to ensure that reforms encourage the most efficient use of the system at the lowest cost for customers, and that network charges for all users are fair.
Comment: CEE is still analysing the impacts that Ofgem's proposals will have. It is heartening that the main purpose of this work is to protect vulnerable customers from paying a disproportionate amount towards the upkeep of the grid. However, there seems to be a risk that renewable energy investment could be undermined and that some community renewable energy schemes working to reduce costs for vulnerable customers could inadvertently be negatively affected. We are looking into this in more detail with members.
Leading by example: cutting energy bills and carbon emissions in the public and higher education sectors
Published alongside the Clean Growth Strategy, this call for evidence seeks evidence and views about the action required to deliver an ambitious decarbonisation programme across the public and higher education sectors, in England over the next 10 years.
It particularly asks for comments on the introduction of a voluntary emissions target for the public and higher education sector - excluding central government departments and their agencies which already have their own targets - along with a supporting framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions.
It also considers other future options that would help to reduce emissions in the public, further and higher education sectors in line with the fifth carbon budget, as well as support wider positive effects across the economy.
Evidence is particularly sought from organisations that would be covered by the target but there are also opportunities for all our members to highlight the importance of partnership approaches. Public and higher educations are noted within this call as having an important role to play in supporting local energy projects and energy generation and in reducing costs collectively across the sectors. Related to this, there is opportunity to demonstrate how community energy can support public and higher education sectors decarbonisation programmes.
Deadline: 7th December 2017
Clean Growth Strategy
The long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy was published in October. Previously known as the Clean Growth Plan, Carbon Reduction Plan or Emissions Reduction Plan, it outlines how the country is going to meet Carbon Budgets and its commitments under the 2008 Climate Change Act whilst helping the economy to grow as per the Industrial Strategy Green Paper. Specifically, it sets out 50 key policy proposals covering finance, business and industry efficiency, homes and heat improvement, low carbon transport, natural resources and waste, public sector targets and government leadership. The Strategy includes proposed consultations on moving homes to EPC Band C, on Industrial Energy Efficiency and on heat and also includes a range of policy announcements made over the last year.
The Strategy will be integrated with the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Industrial Strategy White Paper; to be published later in 2017. A long-term strategy for the UK’s transition to zero road vehicle emissions will also be developed.
The Clean Growth Strategy is very much an overview document and lacking in precise policy detail but it does seem to demonstrate support for renewables as being pivotal to our future energy landscape. A review of the Feed-in Tariff is still awaited but government has indicated that it will discuss its ambitions for small-scale renewables later this year. CEE has been in discussions with BEIS on this and pushing for consideration of community-owned renewables to be made and highlighting some of the good work that the sector is already progressing. Ultimately more emphasis needs to be made on people - their experiences of and relationship with energy - and not just big, shiny “stuff”.
Government will be accepting comments on the Strategy to feed into more detailed policy proposals up until 31st December 2017.
Cost of energy review: call for evidence
The results of the Cost of Energy Review were published on Wednesday 25th October and government is now seeking views on its contents. The review, led by Professor Dieter Helm, examined how the costs of electricity can be kept as low as possible, as the UK looks to achieve security of supply while meeting carbon reduction targets.
The review concludes that energy costs are significantly higher than necessary and that current policy, regulation and market design are not fit for purpose. It claims that businesses have not been able to capitalise on the rapidly falling costs of renewables or benefit from the cheaper supply costs associated with 'smart' energy technologies.
Helm sets out 67 recommendations, the most important of which are:
- The legacy costs from the Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs), feed-in tariffs (FiTs) and Contracts for Difference auctions (CfDs) are a major contributor to rising energy prices. They should, therefore, be separated out, ring-fenced, and placed in a “legacy bank”. They should also be charged separately on customer bills and industrial energy users should be exempt
- FiTs and CfDs should then be gradually phased out and merged into a unified 'Equivalent Firm Power' (EFP) capacity auction, with low-carbon generators bearing the costs of the intermittency
- Carbon taxes and prices should be harmonised by setting a universal carbon price across the whole economy. There should be a border carbon price to prevent emissions being exported
- An independent national system operator (NSO) and regional system operators (RSOs) should be established under public ownership. They should take on a number of duties currently undertaken by distribution network operators (DNOs) and Ofgem, including securing local energy supplies
- Separate licenses for generation, supply and distribution should be replaced by a simpler, single license, at least at the local level
- Standard variable tariffs should be superseded by a default tariff based on an index of wholesale costs. The government’s proposed price cap should take the form of a cap on the supply margin.
Deadline: 5th January 2018
Building a market for energy efficiency: call for evidence
This call for evidence seeks evidence and views on additional measures and incentives that could encourage home-owners to invest in energy efficiency improvements.
The document sets out a range of potential solutions, including:
- Ways to incentivise or require network companies, in particular, Distribution Network Operators, to pursue energy efficiency projects
- Ways of more accurately measuring the thermal performance of buildings using smart meters
- New methods for financing energy efficiency – such as low-cost loans and conditional mortgages
- Ways to encourage mortgage lenders and banks to become more involved in funding energy efficiency and offering ‘green mortgages’, including setting them voluntary targets
- A £10 million innovation pot for new installation and delivery techniques for measures
- ‘Price signals’ to make a more efficient home cheaper to buy or run
Deadline: 9th January 2018