Facilitating energy efficiency, a coal-free Capacity Market and EV chargepoints by law


So Boris completes his ascendancy and takes the keys to Number 10 as business (and government) prepares for what the new leadership might bring.

Government has been fairly busy over the past week; not only in gearing up for a new leader and new Ministers to brief, but also in publishing consultations.

The main ones to draw your attention to are the consultation on facilitating energy efficiency in the electricity, a reform of network Codes and a proposal to introduce requirements for installation of electric vehicle chargepoints.

There are proposed changes to building regulations that will require both residential and non-residential buildings to include a certain number of charge-points on construction or renovation. Existing properties cannot be dealt with through Building Regs so government also proposes new legislation to require all non-residential buildings with more the 20 parking spaces to have at least one chargepoint.

Electrification of transport places strain on the electricity system. As the networks prepare for the future, we need to improve wholesystem efficiency. Government ran a pilot Electricity Demand Reduction scheme to test whether energy efficiency could participate in the capacity market; they’ve concluded that’s not ideal so are now consulting on how energy efficiency could contribute to a flexible energy system.

Another consultation outlines plans to introduce emissions limits into the Capacity Market – effectively preventing coal and diesel from participating after July 2025.

Great for our decarbonisation targets but if we can no longer rely on coal generation to keep the lights on during those supply-constrained winter nights, we’d really better start taking energy efficiency and self-generation seriously!

If this interests you, please register for an event ICON is helping to host; it’s on 5th September at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, where you can learn about co-generation, aka Combined Heat and Power and the benefits of investing in on-site generation technologies.

Stimulating the energy efficiency market is definitely a good thing, but one of the barriers to new innovation progressing is the complexity of network Codes. A reform the Code set-up has been proposed to try to simplify and streamline the way the industry develops and is managed.

Not just network side, either – government is also consulting on changes to the energy retail markets. This will be much more impactive on the energy suppliers than non-domestic end-users but it was interesting to note that whilst they don’t set out any proposals to change energy and climate change levies, government does ask for opinions on whether and how these levies, including RO, Contracts for Difference and Capacity Market could be better structured.

On the environmental side, Defra is consulting on proposals to set water consumption targets and to increase the standards of water efficiency in new English homes to 110 litres per person, per day (down from 125 litres pppd). The Scots and Welsh both already meet this standard.

Finally, the Welsh government has published an independent review on decarbonising Welsh homes, with recommendations that both policy commitment and a package of support to facilitate action should be delivered.

I hope you enjoy reading the deeper detail on the ICON hub and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For more information, or to download this week’s full report, please log onto the ICON app.