DESNZ has assumed responsibility for delivering energy policy, which used to sit with the now disbanded Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Government has brought together, under one roof, separate responsibilities concerning energy, climate change and international trade.
DESNZ’s key tasks include:
- delivering the security of energy supply
- ensuring properly functioning energy markets
- encouraging greater energy efficiency (in UK homes, businesses and public sector buildings); and
- “seizing the opportunities of Net Zero to lead the world in new green industries” – ensuring the UK is on track to meet its legally binding carbon budgets and Net Zero commitments and speeding up the delivery of network infrastructure and green energy.
The key priorities for 2023 are set out on the DESNZ home webpage.
The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee is a select committee of the House of Commons. It came into existence in April. The Committee recently launched four new inquiries, each of which invites evidence to be submitted by Friday 25 August. The four inquiries – which are listed below and detailed on the Committee’s Inquiry page – are in addition to the wider inquiry that began last month into the work of DESNZ itself.
1. A flexible Grid for the future
2. Heating our homes
3. Keeping the power on: our future energy technology mix
4. Preparing for the winter
Each inquiry will allow the Committee to consider the evidence that is submitted and is likely to result in the publication of a report.
The Heating our homes inquiry will look at issues surrounding the ability of UK citizens to heat their homes and to take control of their energy bills, including energy efficiency (including insulation), heat pumps and other technologies that might replace gas boiler heated homes, the need to ensure that new builds and renovated houses meet decent heat standards, the infrastructure problems surrounding delivering warm homes and the need to ensure that there is a skilled workforce when needed.
The Committee has put forward the following questions:
- What policy changes are needed to deliver energy efficient homes across the UK?
- What are the key factors contributing to the under-delivery of the UK’s government-backed retrofit schemes?
- Which standards and assessment frameworks are needed to deliver a reliable, skilled workforce capable of transitioning UK homes to modern heating solutions?
- How might the Government support innovation in delivering local solutions?
- What role should customer choice play in the future planning of energy networks for home heating?
- Does the current state of consumer protections for low-carbon home technologies represent a barrier to uptake of these products?
- How will the public be able to afford the switch to decarbonised heating?
- How will decarbonisation plans be drawn up in each area?
- Do the current EPC frameworks help consumers make informed decisions on transition?
- Do standards need to differ for different types of housing?
- What is the role of different levels of government in developing, funding and implementing schemes?
DESNZ’s key tasks are aligned with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments that Housing Associations are committed to delivering.
Housing Associations and other landlords who are committed to embedding ESG into their business, including creating energy efficient homes will no doubt be interested in responding to the consultation.
The Committee is looking for responses on key issues which businesses are already asking themselves - including what value do EPCs have and how can certainty be delivered in the supply chain for modern heating solutions.