54% of generated power is lost between the source and the end user reportedly costing £9.5 billion a year, thanks to the UK’s inefficient energy system.
The government is being urged to look into the issue as a more efficient grid would be the first port of call for a cost-effective solution to a reliable supply, lower costs and decarbonisation.
While some energy waste is inevitable, a report from the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) found that £3 billion of energy could be saved if action is taken, which could cut consumer electricity bills by £116 per year.
ADE chief executive Tim Rotheray has urged the government to focus on how it can support investment in cutting energy waste, saying the unnecessary impact on consumer bills is a “national embarrassment”.
“Wasted energy reduces our productivity, undermines efforts to create a competitive economy on a global level and causes unnecessary emissions. It does not have to be this way,” he said.
Recovering heat from power stations could save £2 billion a year alone, but currently only 10 per cent of power plants do so. Plus a more efficient transmission and distribution network could half losses, which currently sit at 8%.
If UK transmission and distribution losses were halved, energy users would save £605 million a year, the equivalent of £23 per household.
Ofgem is encouraging the UK’s regulated networks to reduce losses by offering financial incentives, however the government has focussed budget on the capacity market and nuclear development.
The government should be focussing on how to improve energy efficiency in commercial and domestic properties and the distribution network itself instead of ending all green schemes early.
They put the ESOS scheme into place to force qualifying businesses into having an efficiency audit on their assets – properties and transport. However, of 10,000 businesses affected, less than 200 have complied so far and worse still, while the audit is mandatory, none of the recommended improvements have to be made.
It’s really just an admin exercise, rather than one, which will bring about change with regard to making businesses more energy efficient.
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