UK Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2007

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He recently-published Energy White Paper, Meeting the Energy Challenge1, set out two long term challenges: tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions both within the UK and abroad; and ensuring secure, clean and affordable energy as we become increasingly dependent on imported fuel. Using energy more efficiently is the fastest and most cost effective way of cutting carbon dioxide emissions. It can also improve productivity and can contribute to the security of our energy supplies by reducing our reliance on imported energy and ensuring we make maximum use of our own and global energy resources. Improving the energy efficiency of homes can also reduce energy bills and help ensure that the most vulnerable can afford to heat their homes. 2. Improving energy efficiency has already made a significant contribution to our energy and climate change goals. The energy saving policies and measures set out in our 2004 Energy Efficiency Action Plan2 and the 2006 Climate Change Programme3 are already delivering energy savings and those recently announced in the Energy White Paper4 will continue to stimulate energy efficiency in businesses, the public sector and households. 3. Our analysis5 suggests that there are several key barriers currently hindering greater take up of energy efficiency amongst both organisations and individuals. Issues of behaviour and motivation are significant barriers to investment in large organisations; energy saving is rarely core business. Competing priorities are often a significant barrier, particularly in the public sector where the focus is on providing high quality public services such as health care and education. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), hidden costs, such as management time, are a common barrier. For the manufacturing sector finance is an important issue while in the commercial sector, where use of energy in buildings predominates, lack of information, split incentives (e.g. between the landlord who would make the investment and the tenant who would benefit) and motivation are key barriers. For the individual, lack of information and motivation are primary barriers. 4. Improving energy efficiency will therefore require everyone individuals, businesses and Government to take action. Individuals and businesses can play their part by reducing the waste of energy, by investing in energy efficiency measures for the home and workplace and by choosing to purchase more energy efficient buildings and products. Government will encourage and enable action by businesses and individuals by providing the right information and ensure that the regulatory framework is in place

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