Tag Archives: Smart Meters

npower Business Energy Customers Say Energy Red Tape Must Be Scrapped Or Simplified

npower has found that businesses are concerned that current UK energy regulations will not raise the investment needed to ensure the country’s low carbon future, and are calling on the government to either simplify or scrap some existing legislation to ensure targets can be met.

These are the findings of a consultation by npower among business energy users, which found that one in three (32%) do not believe that legislation such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Climate Change Levy (CCL) and Climate Change Agreements (CCAs), the Renewables Obligation and Feed In Tariffs will help ensure the £200bn investment needed for the UK’s energy infrastructure is achieved.

The results of npower’s consultation, which is still ongoing, will be fed back to government as part of its Red Tape Challenge initiative. The government consultation on the energy sector formally opens on the 25th of November.

Against a backdrop of political debate on how to best regulate the energy industry,npower asked businesses which energy legislation they would keep, which they would like to see simplified, and those they would like to see scrapped completely.

The CRC, perhaps unsurprisingly, received most attention, with over two thirds of businesses (69%) wanting to see the scheme simplified and more than half of business (57%) believing it should be scrapped. Over a third (38%) would like to see it merged with existing regulation.

There was also a call to scrap the Renewables Obligation among some businesses (41%), with nearly half (47%) calling for it to be simplified. Opinion was split on CCL and CCAs, with 29% wanting to see them scrapped, and 32% believing they should stay.

Wayne Mitchell, interim industrial and commercial markets director at npower, commented: “Energy policy ultimately drives British business. But, as the Government recognises through its Red Tape Challenge initiative, there is a mammoth amount of legislative cost burden on British businesses. Groups such as the CBI have been very vocal about how this legislation is not only stifling domestic growth, but also making the UK less competitive on an international scale.

“At the moment the energy market is neither fully regulated, nor fully liberalised and that this ‘in-between’ situation is leaving businesses and investors in a ‘limbo’ unable to make an informed decision. That is why we again urge the business community to make sure their voices are heard. This is a unique opportunity on an unprecedented scale to have a say on energy legislation – and our own consultation reveals a mixed bag of views so far.

“We are committed to ensuring the voice of business is heard, and there is still time to have your say at www.npower.com/redtape.”

Via EPR Network
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uSwitch.com Comments on Today’s Announcement on Smart Meters

uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, welcomes today’s announcement on smart meters, but believes there are still a number of issues that need to be ironed out before the launch. Prime importance is to ensure that the final specification of the meters will meet consumers’ needs and that enough focus is given to educating consumers on their use.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “The introduction of smart meters is a positive step forward in the drive to ensure that all households get accurate, up-to-date energy bills and have the information they need to be able to monitor and lower their energy usage.

“Today’s announcement shows that the Government and the energy industry are picking up the pace, although there are still a number of issues to iron out. The key concern for consumers is cost and how much the roll out of smart metering is likely to add to household energy bills. Our research shows that only 19% of consumers believe that a significant increase in household energy bills is a price worth paying and 57% of people are not even aware of what smart meters are. This suggests that without a proper education and consumer engagement programme there could be an uphill battle persuading households that they should be picking up the tab.

“There is much to be gained from the roll-out of smart meters so it’s vital that all parties involved keep their eye on the main prize which is the benefit it will bring to consumers and the competitive market. If households are to get maximum value the specification has to be right and designed to put easy-to-understand information at people’s finger tips, including historical usage data so they can manage their energy more easily, compare prices and find an energy plan or supplier that suits their needs. This is a huge opportunity for the industry to get consumers engaged in managing household energy, but there will only be one opportunity to get it right.”

Via EPR Network
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