Spring Statement: the energy round up

Yesterday (13 March), The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Spring Statement amidst a backdrop of political uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The statement contained a number of energy and low carbon announcements which build on commitments made in the Clean Growth Strategy. Here’s our round up of what was announced:

  • Future Homes Standard: The Chancellor announced the introduction of a ‘Future Homes Standard’ by 2025, so that new build homes are future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency.
  • Business energy efficiency scheme: To help smaller businesses reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions, the government is launching a call for evidence on a Business energy efficiency scheme to explore how it can support investment in energy efficiency measures. It proposes three options for possible delivery of the scheme (energy efficiency auction, a business energy efficiency obligation and expanding access to finance options to SMEs) and asks for views.  It also invites views on any additional delivery models that the Government should consider for the new scheme. The call for evidence will run for 8 weeks and close on the 8 May 2019.
  • Green gas in the grid: To help meet climate targets, the government will advance the decarbonisation of gas supplies by increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid, helping to reduce dependence on burning natural gas in homes and businesses.
  • Offsetting transport emissions: To give people the option to travel ‘zero carbon’, the government will launch a call for evidence on Offsetting Transport Emissions to explore consumer understanding of the emissions from their journeys and their options to offset them. This will also look into whether travel providers should be required to offer carbon offsets to their customers.

Additional announcements

On the same day, BEIS also announced the government’s response to the call to evidence on ‘Helping Businesses to Improve the Way They Use Energy’. The government response sets out its intended overall approach to meeting the Clean Growth Strategy ambition.

The government also announced its £6m ‘Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency’ competition, which is now open for applications.  The competition will fund the development of new business models that aggregate and scale up the delivery of small-scale energy efficiency building projects in the commercial and industrial sectors.

The competition opened today, and applications need to be received by 8 May 2019.