A ‘consumer-led, competition-focused energy system that has energy security at the heart of it’ was the core message from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd when she announced plans to close all coal-fired power plants by 2025 but relax the drive for renewable energy.
The speech, on Wednesday 18 November 2015, aimed to ‘reset’ Britain’s energy policy. Energy Secretary Rudd did recognise that: “One of the best ways to cut bills and cut carbon is to cut energy use itself” and said she was ‘determined’ that help though the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) would be ‘concentrated on those in greatest need’.
“It is was good that Amber Rudd mentioned energy efficiency but it was towards the end of her speech” said End Fuel Poverty Coalition Chair Jenny Holland. “Energy efficiency and a programme focusing on the homes of those in fuel poverty must be at the core of any energy policy. Yet Amber Rudd’s pledge to insulate 1m homes represents an 80 per cent drop compared with activity in the last Parliament – and ECO alone can’t keep out the cold and make homes affordably warm.”
Jenny Holland also added that energy competition often failed those on low incomes who could not benefit from online deals using direct debit. “Making energy competition work for everyone should also be a government priority” she said.