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2015: The New Horizon for Energy

26th Nov 2014

As 2014 draws to a close and we approach 2015 with a broken economy, political uncertainty and lack of trust spread far and wide, are there any hopes for 2015? A general election will soon explode onto every social medium we’re addicted to, with the possibility of a four party parliament. There is light at the end of the tunnel, it is a societal evolution of the energy industry. The industry looks set to have a promising year with some major changes ahead, shaking up the complacent down trodden energy suppliers and brokers out there. There will be the EMR (Electricity Market Reform), the ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) Assessment and the Ofgem Code of Conduct. All these look to reshape and evolve our dated energy infrastructure, bringing it into the 21st Century.

What are all these gargantuan projects and how will they affect everyone?

EMR

“EMR (Electricity Market Reform) is a government programme to tackle the instability in the electricity market. Currently the UK is on target to meet emission reduction targets by 2030. It’s the long-term scenario that is the most challenging aspect, which is why the government are implementing their EMR programme.”(Source: CUB UK)

This programme will look into using CfD (Contracts for Difference) which means that generators and the government will agree a strike price for energy. Therefore, a generator will only earn so much per MWh (Megawatt) produced. If they are paid over the strike price, then they will have to pay back the difference over and if it is under the government subsidies the generator.

This programme will mean that energy consumers incur a charge starting at £1 per MWh and rising to between £8 - £10 per MWh. However, with a capacity mechanism installed energy consumersshould save roughly between £5 - £10 per MWh. However, the overall benefits of this programme should be greater because it will ensure that there is a comfortable supply within the UK which should drive down prices and balance out seasonal price spikes.

To read more about EMR and how it will affect you then click here.

ESOS

“Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.” (Source: Gov.uk)

This has already begun; companies have to register by the end of December 2014 and will have to undertake mandatory energy audits throughout their company. So why is this important for 2015?

Each company that is part of the ESOS programme will have to start collecting and collate all the data required for the mandatory energy audit. They will have to start as soon as possible to gather as much information as possible and 2015 will be a good starting point to get everything prepared.

To read more about ESOS and to find out if your company is required to be part of it then, click here.

Ofgem Code of Conduct

Ofgem has described their TPI (Third Party Intermediary) code of conduct to “protect the interests of non-domestic consumers and, in particular, their interests in having the confidence that when using a Third Party Intermediary (TPI), the TPI will act in a fair, honest, appropriate and transparent manner and effectively assist them with their energy supply needs.”(Source: Gov.uk)

The TPI market has never really had an official regulatory body, but has always been governed by Ofgem. With a heavily saturated market, rogues have been slipping through the net and wreaking havoc on the industry, tarnishing all consultants and brokers with the same brush, coloured a murky brown of mistrust. It is definitely time to wash down the market and clean it up, as the whole industry has been beaten into submission this year. We have seen energy complaints increase, trust plummeting faster than the global recession and price hikes, which have led to scrutinisation and inquiries. This code of conduct looks as though it will be stripping back the energy industry and disciplining those who do not conform.

To read more about the Ofgem Code of Conduct please click here.

2015 is definitely going to be a big year for the whole United Kingdom let alone the energy industry. Other than what has been described there will also be large scale energy projects going on throughout the year, ranging from offshore wind turbines to biomass generators and even tidal projects. Our energy industry looks to be getting the upgrade it so desperately needs. The future is what we make of it and it is down to everyone to help shape it.

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