An Autumn Statement that can boost energy efficiency innovation

The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered last week his Autumn Statement, aiming to restore stability to the UK economy. The Autumn Statement took place in the context of wider economic pressure and its tax and spending implications were covered widely in the press. What received less attention was its positive messages on promoting energy efficiency in buildings which is a very positive signal for investment.

In his speech in Parliament, the Chancellor noted that ‘cheap, low carbon, reliable energy must sit at the heart of any modern economy’ and confirmed that the UK remains ‘committed to a 68% reduction in our emissions by 2030’. This is a very important reaffirmation of the UK’s transition to a green economy and particularly for buildings - currently responsible for 25% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions - where investments and innovation is necessary to suceed.

The autumn statement includes policy decisions that contribute to improving the efficiency of UK homes. It sets out the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Taskforce with an ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 against 2021 levels. This comes along with £6 billion of new government funding for energy efficiency. 

Another example is the decision towards re-balancing electricity and gas prices to equalise the CCL main rates on gas and electricity in the UK by 2025. This is a step to improve the economics of electric heat pumps and encourage their deployment towards 600k installations per year which is the professed ambition of the Government. 

At Schneider Electric we are encouraged by both the reaffirmation of bold carbon targets as well as the enhanced focus on promoting energy efficiency investment.  The transition to zero carbon buildings will require a range of smart solutions that enable heating systems to operate efficiently and that enabled technologies such as heat pumps. 

Innovative solutions such as our smart TRV combined with automated hydraulic balancing need to become mainstream for the transition to succeed and the policies have in the Autumn Statement are another positive step in this direction.

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