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Improving energy efficiency should become a priority for the UK, engineering leaders believe


Improving energy efficiency should become an industrial strategy priority, the Royal Academy of Engineering has recently argued in a white paper.

The “Engineering an economy that works for all” report recommends that government, through the Emissions Reduction Plan, should deliver a stable medium- to long-term energy strategy that provides the confidence and certainty required to plan to meet the Climate Change Act and Paris Agreement obligations.

It argues that energy policy has historically been approached in silos, addressing the environment, security and cost separately, which has resulted in policies that work against one another. Instead, it calls on government to take a whole system approach that addresses the needs of businesses as well as the wider public, while reducing emissions and ensuring security and resilience.

Ensuring that the government finds an affordable solution that meets these needs is a particular concern of the engineering profession. 60% of respondents to the survey of engineers reported that energy costs were a significant issue for their organisation. They identified improving energy efficiency as the single most important area for the government to focus on to limit energy costs.

Louise Kingham, Chief Executive of the Energy Institute, commented:

“Energy and climate change policies are integral to the UK’s future prosperity. They present significant economic opportunities as well as risks that need to be managed.

“The message from the engineering community is clear. If the Government’s industrial strategy is to make the most of the opportunities it should have greater energy efficiency and a system wide approach at its heart. And the policies adopted must be credible over the long term, to provide industry with the confidence needed to sustain investment and jobs in energy technologies and infrastructure.”

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