Status: August 2010
The UK energy mix has been historically reliant on significant domestic oil, gas and coal reserves. The depletion of oil and gas reserves and the decision of governments in the 1980s-1990s to decrease coal production has increased dependence on energy imports. This dependence on imports has occurred at the same time as the UK has developed a statutory requirement to reduce its contribution to global CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Therefore, maintaining security of energy supply through ensuring not only secure, but also clean and affordable energy is a policy priority [link 1].
Delivery of energy efficiency and demand side management (DSM) priorities in the UK is undertaken by a range of agencies. This includes public agencies such as Energy Saving Trust (EST) and the Carbon Trust that are central to the delivery of national energy efficiency priorities. They are responsible for managing programmes and delivering grants [link2]. Private agencies have also been founded by national government to deliver energy efficiency priorities. Salix Finance Ltd, for example, is a private company funded by Government that was set-up in 2005 as a pilot to work with local authorities and to establish energy efficiency revolving loan schemes in the public sector [link 3]. Local authorities with their statutory responsibilities are able to influence the delivery of national energy efficiency priorities through their strategic priorities. Delivery of priorities is often addressed in partnership with agencies such as EST.