The work of Government screeches to a halt

11th Jul 2022

 

“A week is a long time in politics” they used to say; now five minutes seems a long time in political life. Amidst the drama of last week, the Government did publish their Energy Security Bill, something that will take months to progress through a normal parliamentary cycle and these aren’t normal times.

But this political crisis does create an opportunity. It allows for a re-set of policies and fresh political figures to come forward with their agendas. My reading of the situation now (and this comes with a big risk given events recently) is that none of the runners and riders to become our new Prime Minister have suggested scrapping the 2050 Net Zero target – and that’s a good thing. Let’s hope the consensus continues.

But that doesn’t mean policies in place now are locked in forever. For example, given the cost of living crisis, energy prices, and Ukraine it makes sense for Ministers to consider a re-set to any interim targets. Let’s take Boris Johnson’s target of 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. This number was always an arbitrary figure and as such a prime area for re-consideration. If targets look to skew policy to the overall detriment of the end goal, then these targets do indeed need looking at.

Last week, the Climate Change Committee report to Parliament confirmed that an average heat pump increases the average heating bill by 10 per cent a year. In the current climate, how can any Government claim to be doing everything it can to keep bills down, when one of its key energy policies means putting them permanently up?

These are the sort of things that will rightly be debated over the coming months. How do we get to the 2050 target, not should we continue to support the 2050 target. I think we have a great narrative on how we do that, so as Government comes to a halt for a few months, we must take this opportunity to show them the best route forward for the future.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO

Mike Foster

EUA's Chief Executive

 

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