UK Energy Companies to be Investigated For Failing to Meet Energy Efficiency Targets

Although UK energy companies achieved 99% of government energy efficiency targets by the December 2012 deadline, energy regulator Ofgem is investigating those firms which fell short. British Gas, Drax, GDF Suez/IPM, Intergen, Scottish Power and SSE will be investigated for failing to achieve one or more of their energy efficiency targets. EDF energy, Eggborough power, E.ON and RWE npower achieved all of their energy efficiency targets.

UK consumers have received over six million professionally installed energy efficiency measures, including approximately 700,000 of the most vulnerable households under the government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) schemes. Government gave Ofgem the role of administering both schemes.

During the final year of the programmes the energy companies stepped up delivery of the schemes. To ensure as much benefit was delivered to consumers as possible Ofgem reminded the industry in September 2012 that companies risked facing enforcement action if they failed to meet their energy efficiency targets. Ofgem also stated it would take into account as ‘mitigation’ additional energy saving measures installed after the December 2012 deadline as part of any enforcement process or possible fines. Since January 2013 a number of energy companies have chosen to continue installing energy efficiency measures.

Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s Senior Partner in charge of enforcement, says: “At a time of rising energy bills energy efficiency can make a big difference for consumers. The fact that the industry has delivered 99 per cent of its government energy efficiency targets is to be welcomed. However, Ofgem’s role is to ensure that consumers do not lose out by the failure of firms to deliver all the help required or are not disadvantaged by late delivery. This is why Ofgem is launching investigations into six firms who have failed one or more of their energy efficiency targets set by government.”

The overall targets were set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) under the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT). Under CERT over 3.9 million lofts and 2.5 million cavity walls were insulated. The CESP scheme was targeted at vulnerable customers in the most deprived areas across Great Britain. Over 150,000 households had at least one energy efficiency measure installed including insulating over 75,000 external solid walls and replacing nearly 43,000 old, inefficient boilers. The energy efficiency schemes saved 312 million life time tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions through energy efficiency measures installed before 31 December 2012.

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