The energy debate is centre stage. Decision makers and the voters they represent increasingly feel that the market does not deliver fair value and that policies to move to a secure, low carbon energy system are costing too much. The result is growing mistrust across the energy sector. If we are to rebuild trust, the debate needs to move beyond switching suppliers, towards placing control of energy back into the hands of the energy user.
When the user is at the centre, the old divide of demand and supply evaporates, replaced by a single question: How do I meet the needs of the user in the most cost effective way?
By focussing on the user, we have a genuine chance to cut emissions, make businesses and the public sector more efficient and competitive, and lift the vulnerable from fuel poverty.
There are three clear policy measures which would help achieve this vision:
- Place the bill payer at the centre of the energy system
- Enact a ‘Consumer Value Guarantee’ for energy policy
- Empower local authorities to meet local energy needs