Don’t shout about it, but our current Energy Minister gets it.

23rd Jul 2018


Too many Governments, of all colours, have traded Energy Ministers like World Cup football cards. Just when they understand the brief, they are moved on. Anyone would think it was a deliberate policy. So I want to whisper this, I think we have an Energy Minister who gets it – grounded in reality but also ambitious for the future. Keep it our secret, we don’t want her to be moved.

This week, as an example, we had the Government response to the ECO3 consultation. And that response delivered what EUA had been asking for – and importantly, although the number of respondents may not have always agreed with us, the Government did. That’s a result.

Let’s take ensuring that ECO3 funding is targeted on Affordable Warmth. We said yes, and the Minister did too. This will deliver a bigger hit in tackling fuel poverty, which we know is a growing problem. For those who thought some of this cash should be diverted to subsidise expensive measures such as district heating, there is the assurance that the scheme will deliver 2.1MtCO2 of carbon savings each year.

We argued that oil boiler replacements were a sensible use of ECO funding, improving energy efficiency, cutting bills and carbon. The majority of respondents didn’t agree with us, but the Minister did.

We argued to broaden the criteria for including first-time central heating systems as part of ECO3, reinforcing the point about the sensible link of this scheme to the RIIO GD1 Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme. The Ministerial response made it clear that properties with broken or inefficient electric storage heaters will be eligible for FTCH. In addition, the response said “… potentially enable the co-ordination of the existing FPNES with the installation of heating measures under ECO”.

So we head into the summer holidays, satisfied that we have delivered for our members, but with a grin knowing we may have a Minister who gets it.

 Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO