Memorandum from the Lighting Industry
Our comments concern the last of the original
recommendations summarised on the Committee's press release No
13, specifically "energy efficiency programmes".
The DETR has said in its press releases that
there will be £150 million of additional support for energy
efficiency measures, including:
"A £50 million energy efficiency fund
(providing energy efficiency advice and audits to businesses,
and stimulating the development and take up of renewable sources
of energy and other low carbon technologies)"
We do not believe, based on experience going
back in time to the oil crisis of 1973, that providing energy
efficiency advice and audits to businesses will be effective on
their own. Capital allowances might induce profit makers to follow
up on advice but what cash incentive will there be for non-profit
making users of energy?
The EST and BRECSU are prototyping "Lightswitch",
a scheme aimed at SMEs and comprising advice, audits and cash
incentives. The scheme has a one year life and a restricted budget
which will only allow for about 200 grants to be given. To be
really effective the scheme needs to be run for 10 years with
a budget enabling 2000 grants to be given in each year.
Could the Committee ask Lord Whitty whether
the DETR will provide more financial support for Lightswitch from
the "energy efficiency fund" and over the longer term
of 10 years?
After all, in its consultation proposals for
EESOP 4, page 12, DETR recognises that:
"3.2 Companies need reasonable time in which
to develop, market and carry through EESOP programmes. The Government
proposes that EESOP 4 should relate to a three-year period starting
in April 2002."
But in approving EST/BRECSU schemes like Lightswitch,
the approval is given on a year to year basis.