Beama calls for government to plug gaps in strategy

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In response to the just-published Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Select Committee report on low carbon technologies in a green economy, Beama has said it fully supports the recommendation that government should work in closer partnership with the electrotechnical industry and other stakeholders on the potential benefits of smart meters and a smarter energy network.

"We are more than willing to contribute to the development of an open dialogue with government to achieve this," said Beama CEO, Dr Howard Porter (pictured).

"We welcome the emphasis on existing energy saving technologies and the resulting economic benefits through a long-term strategy to support wider deployment of such technologies. Yet, while the potential benefits from both heating and lighting controls are specifically mentioned, we still believe that greater emphasis on control technologies would be appropriate - the proven benefits of these are often neglected in Government policy.

"We agree too with the main conclusions that Government should do more to support energy efficiency with public investment prioritised for existing economically viable low carbon technologies.

"Beama members manufacture many such technologies and have produced ‘exemplar' papers showing opportunities for carbon savings from existing technologies, which are currently being missed. We look forward to a wider engagement with Government to discuss these missed opportunities."

While the recommendations for domestic homes place emphasis on the government's Warm Homes, Greener Homes strategy, Dr Porter believes there are ‘real gaps' regarding improvement of heating systems, despite this being the area where most domestic energy is used: "The industry is ready to help Government meet its carbon targets. This is the only real route to ensure improvements to products and systems can be delivered on the scale required. Government must take onboard the recommendations for fuller engagement with industry.

"Beama continues to push for sustainable energy policy to be consistent with the real ethos of sustainability. We're urging the Department for Communities and Local Government to closely examine its recently closed Code for Sustainable Homes consultation. Particularly, the section promoting the installation of ‘dumb' energy display devices with the carrot of a high number of credits.

"The Government has committed to a rollout of smart meters by 2020 and this summer publishes a prospectus that will outline the metering and communication protocol specification. So Government should - and must - give higher Code credits for a full metering specification backed by the prospectus. A short term low-cost, inadequate, fix will result in obsolete displays that enter landfill very soon and give a bad perception of in-house display technology.

"Policy must be logical and mindful of overall strategic direction rather than playing towards short-term political imperatives. The long haul requires two-way communication functionality in metering. That is, linked to standardised communication protocol backed in-house displays giving wider benefits than just energy usage information.

"Only real smart metering enables the smart grid aspiration to become reality so let's use policy to pick the ‘low hanging fruit' for smart installations. The Code can do this in the new-build sector."