What has become of the promised Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme?
This time some 6 months ago, the energy efficiency sector was buzzing.
The Government had just released its Clean Growth Strategy. The paper promised to redefine a lower carbon future for the UK’s burgeoning cleantech sector.
And within the paper, there was one especially exciting promise. Government would establish an Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme, to help decarbonise the industrial sector, which currently represents nearly a quarter of UK emissions.
Some months on, there appears to be a deafening silence. Have Brexit and the Government’s performance in the election, which made governing more difficult, conspired to push energy efficiency back off centre stage?
Where is the Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme hiding?
More and more people are beginning to wonder what is going on. Writing on Business Green, Brad Deane ponders the lack of movement, arguing that it’s time for the Government to make good on its Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme promise.
“What is required for large energy intensive manufacturers is funding in the form of the long promised Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme,” he writes. “The barriers associated with investing in energy efficiency for many of our members aren’t about awareness, but more commonly about long payback periods.
“An Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme, something EEF has been calling for a long time, could provide the financial support to decarbonise tricky elements of manufacturing.
“Provision of an Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme, as promised in the Conservative manifesto, would be clearly more beneficial than introducing yet another reporting scheme.
“If the government wants to see real changes, they will instead help get the Industrial Energy Efficiency Scheme established, as that’s what’s needed and that’s what will truly assist in decarbonising manufacturing.”
Voices are calling, but will Government respond?
Deane isn’t alone in his call. Here at Content Coms, we are passionate advocates for an energy efficiency scheme for industry. As low carbon experts, we’ve spotted similar sentiments to those expressed by Deane gathering momentum within the industry at large.
A little bit of digging reveals that the Government’s actual promises on improving efficiency, business and supporting clean growth were always a little hazy.
The Clean Growth Strategy in its entirety, available here, promised to establish an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme to help large companies install measures to cut their energy use and bills.
Where things get shady is in the action and milestones section of the paper. All BEIS ever actually promised was to deliver a scheme ‘From 2017,’ which is a pretty loose timescale.
In reality, there is no set timetable. Which leaves something of a void in terms of solid assurance on low carbon progress.
What must come next?
“We accept that schemes to lower our industrial carbon output must be well planned,” comments Joanna Watchman, Founder and CEO, Content Coms.
“But there is a difference between effective planning and dilly dallying. It’s essential to rationalise and control the UK’s carbon output now.
“To do this, the promised scheme must deliver concrete measures to get industrial energy efficiency moving. And it’s no good allowing Brexit or other political challenges to get in the way.
“We need action now. I desperately hope we will hear more on the promised scheme very soon.”
Content Coms is one of the UK’s leading B2B communications consultancies specialising in the energy and environmental sectors. If you’ve enjoyed our article, how about reading more of our energy news and analysis.