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Solving the energy policy puzzle for users

Published on 28 January 2019

This report examines the energy system as seen from the customer’s perspective, highlights the confusing puzzle of signals we currently have and contrasts it with a vision of where we need to be. 

Solving the energy policy puzzle for users | ADE publications

Achieving the vision of an energy system that enables customers to participate and rewards them for doing so depends on changing the way we go about designing policy and regulation.

The energy system we have now was designed at a time when electricity generation assets were cheaper at large scale and when communication was slow and difficult. Centralisation of the system was a logical choice. Similarly, plentiful supply of North Sea gas provided the case for a nationwide development of a gas distribution network. Energy customers were viewed as passive drivers of the system: their energy use triggered the system to respond.

Today, however, the focus on low carbon solutions and modular technologies, a communications revolution and the recognition that demand can be more flexible and reduced, make this purely top-down centralised system out of date.

This report examines the energy system as seen from the customer’s perspective, highlights the confusing puzzle of signals we currently have and contrasts it with a vision of where we need to be. The section ‘Principles for future policy’ sets out the principles to be used in transforming the policy and regulatory landscape to achieve this vision.

This is an initial overarching report ahead of a series of detailed policy reports to be published by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) in 2019.  Together, these reports will set out how reformed policy making, together with the energy industries, can drive equitable decarbonisation across households, businesses and the public sector. 

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