Generating energy locally and using it more efficiently has allowed the UK to avoid building 14 new power stations, the equivalent of half the UK’s current power generating capacity, a report has found.
The report – published by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), with the help of energy secretary Edward Davey – shows the significant effect that demand-side investments have made in delivering more economic growth for less energy, saving industrial, commercial and public consumers £37.2bn every year.
ADE director Dr Tim Rotheray said: “Cutting energy waste using demand-side services delivers economy-wide benefits: supporting 136,000 jobs, cutting carbon emissions by 462 million tonnes per year and reducing our dependence on imported energy by two-thirds. These investments are distributed and often unseen, but taken together have a huge impact on the UK economy.
“Despite these considerable achievements, new energy policy often repeats the same patterns, taking a centralised approach to solving the energy challenge and overlooking the substantial contribution that users and individual actions can make.
“With a clear, simple policy approach that values these smaller contributions, demand-side services can help consumers do even more to cut waste, improve competitiveness and reduce emissions. By 2020, we could save consumers a further £5.6bn and make the UK a more attractive place to do business.”