Energy costs will remain high for an ‘extended period’, Good Energy boss warns
Energy costs are expected to remain high for an “extended period” and homes and businesses should be encouraged to protect themselves with increased use of renewables, an energy boss says.
Nigel Pocklington, chief executive of renewable energy provider Good Energy, told Times Radio: “I think we should be encouraging homes and businesses to become more independent in their energy use…. all of this will help protect us from what I expect will be an extended period of high energy costs now.
“We’ve been very focused on the ups and downs of the wholesale market over the past six months, but the fundamental truth here is that gas supply is relatively scarce – that’s obviously hugely exacerbated by what’s going on. in Russia – but we’re a gas-dependent country and we kind of have to square the circle there, and that’s where renewables can play a big role.
Asked about new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement on Monday that the two-year energy price freeze will only last six months, Mr Pocklington noted that those who will not be eligible for targeted aid “must again think about the fact that under current market conditions, energy bills will increase significantly from their current level.
“So that will be a problem for everyone and that makes the focus on energy efficiency and demand reduction, I think, all the more important now.”
He said a major public information campaign on energy saving would be a ‘very sensible response’, adding: ‘During this winter we are going to be spending perhaps up to £14m an hour on as a country protecting consumers from the high cost of energy, and the campaign that was put on hold was going to cost £15million, so even in times of strain on public finances, it looks like a very good return on investment.
“And at the moment we’re an outlier – we’re the only country in Western Europe without some sort of national effort in energy efficiency and saving energy and I think that’s an omission. .”
It was reported earlier this month that a £15million information campaign urging the public to save energy backed by Jacob Rees-Mogg had been rejected by Downing Street on the grounds that the information was already available to the public.
Asked about windfall taxes imposed on producers to help ease the burden on consumers, Mr Pocklington added: ‘I think windfall taxes on truly windfall profits are actually a fair way to raise revenue. We have already seen that the kind of profits energy producers make has little to do with their own quality of execution or the investment decisions they have made. They’re a function of very high world gas prices, so I think that’s a sensible way to ensure overall financial stability for the country, frankly.