The UK’s energy policy is at crossroads. Ambitious carbon targets, an aging energy infrastructure, rising fuel poverty and a legacy of fossil fuel investment warrant bold political decisions to ensure the UK transitions to a sustainable low-carbon energy system. Because of the long-term nature of investment in energy infrastructure, decisions made over the next five to ten years will shape the trajectory along which the energy system will evolve. Getting those choices right is key for ensuring a sustainable, affordable and secure energy future – the principle of Efficiency First delivers on all three. Efficiency First can radically change our thinking about supply and demand-side infrastructure. It means developing the discipline to systematically test policy proposals and investment decisions asking the question whether or not the same outcome could be achieved more cheaply through demand-side measures generating more societal value. It does not simply mean to spend more money on or to always prioritise energy efficiency. But it requires considering efficiency explicitly before investments are locked into new costly supply-side infrastructure.
SPRU 14th Dec 2016 read more »