The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the supply and development of energy in the UK. The CMA is expected to publish a report of its findings is later this month, with the statutory deadline being this Saturday, 25 June. UK Sustainable development organisation, Forum for the Future, hopes the imminent report will capitalise on the chance to forge stronger links between the energy sector and homeowners.
Will Dawson, Head of Energy at Forum for the Future, said: “The upcoming CMA report presents an opportunity to change the relationship between householders and where they get their energy from and what they pay for it. But it is largely tweaking business-as-usual, in a situation when ‘business-as-usual’ is not sustainable in the long term.
“Measures to help the least wealthy and most vulnerable pay less for essential electricity through pre-payment meters are much overdue. But householders could be saving far more if there was governmental and business impetus to implement cost-effective upgrades that are now readily available, which would have a profound impact on our home energy bills.
“The CMA investigation also needs to go further into systemic blockages that are preventing the UK from realising a more equitable energy future. More than anything else, the collective squeezing of home and community-based solar and energy efficiency markets is the real hidden scandal. When householders and communities own their energy assets, such as solar panels and storage facilities, it is not long before they can begin to earn money from these assets – and start to challenge the profits and dominance of the Big 6 from the ground up. If households only pay for local cables to bring their daily electricity needs from local renewables rather than from the nationwide grid, it’s also perfectly possible for their current bills to be cut by a third.
“There is immense potential for businesses to flourish by enabling householders to make the most of their energy, and more market reforms are needed to make this happen in order to help them realise this opportunity.”