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New report reveals value of energy-efficient measures to UK economy

New report reveals value of energy-efficient measures to UK economy

New report reveals value of energy-efficient measures to UK economy

Energy-efficient measures are worth more than £37 billion to the UK's economy each year, a new report is set to reveal.

To coincide with the rebrand of the Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA) to the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), the organisation is releasing new analysis this week highlighting how beneficial certain technologies can be in terms of energy efficiency and improving households' and firms' green credentials.

BusinessGreen reports that the new company will changing its focus slightly to ensure it is tackling the issue of energy inefficiency in a more decentralised manner than it has done previously.

Speaking to the publication, director of the ADE Tim Rotheray explained: "It's more about an approach. Traditionally, our energy system has been built in a centralised approach and we're seeing the shift to a more decentralised approach."

The new analysis from the ADE shows that energy-saving measures, regardless of how simple they may be, are worth a grand total of £37.2 billion to the British economy. For example, they could range from turning down a thermostat to installing new insulation.

In light of this significant financial contribution that energy-saving measures make to the UK, the ADE is calling on the government - in particular the Department of Energy and Climate Change - to do more to support innovative technologies in the field, as the organisation believes these can help to deliver affordable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy to the country. In the past, these issues have been dubbed a 'trilemma', as the government strives to comply with them.

The ADE highlighted a number of examples in which energy has been produced using an innovative form of technology, such as Transport for London's recycling of excess heat from the Tube to power nearby residential properties. Additionally, E.ON and the National Grid have installed a giant pipe between neighbouring buildings on the Isle of Grain in Kent, which is being used to send extra heat from a local power station to a natural gas storage terminal.

Mr Rotheray explained some individuals view recycling waste heat to make new energy as an issue, believing they are "just fossil fuels, with no opportunity to progress."

However, he added: "They need to understand that the first fuel is efficiency and that is part of the solution rather than the problem.

"Cutting energy waste, the demand side, is often seen as a bit motherhood and apple pie, as if it's a good thing and it naturally happens.

"But when you understand what value it has delivered, maybe it will start to change the discussion about how much focus we should put on it in terms of government policies."

The ADE has stated it will continue to focus solely on CHP, rather than other forms of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power.

A report published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change at the end of 2014 found that renewable energy usage in the UK has increased significantly in recent months, taking the figures to an all-time high.

Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Foder90