Energy network companies launch bold manifesto to achieve net zero
With a general election in full swing, energy network companies have called on political leaders to commit to taking bold action to achieve net zero – this comes 12 months ahead of the country hosting the next session of the world’s most important climate conference, COP 26.
Together, government, industry and communities can deliver a greener future which benefits people in every part of Britain. Network companies, which manage the wires and pipes of our energy system, stand ready to play a bigger role in this.
Acting now will ensure every home has access to green energy, new green jobs and training to reinvigorate industrial centres, and a fair transition for billpayers, workers and our most vulnerable people. Energy network companies are calling on political leaders to commit to three key policy priorities outlined in their manifesto:
- Step-up and scale-up innovation – harness the power of private investment to provide new learnings and kick-start competitive markets for technologies fundamental to achieving net zero.
- A fair transition for everyone – bring people together from every part of the country to shape the plans that will deliver a fair transition to net zero and benefits that can be shared by all.
- Energise cities, towns and villages – build on strong momentum to put these communities at the front-line of delivering net zero and wider benefits such as greener spaces and cleaner air.
Our collective efforts must be backed by billions of pounds of private investment. Key to attracting and securing this investment are policy and regulatory frameworks which are stable, long-term and closely aligned to net zero.
Energy network companies are investing £45 billion in the decade up to 2023 and delivering world-leading innovation to help solve our toughest problems – from outlining a pathway to net zero heat to laying the foundations for the country’s smarter electricity grid.
David Smith, Chief Executive at Energy Networks Association said:
Climate change is the defining issue of our time and the message for our political leaders is clear – the time for action is now. Our energy network companies stand ready to play a bigger role – by working together we can ensure a fair transition to net zero and benefits which can be shared by all. “Our green energy future is as much local as it is national and the country must build on strong grassroots momentum. We have already taken major steps toward a more decentralised energy system by connecting record levels of local renewable energy and around 100 green gas plants.
Notes to editors
- The UK economy will need to spend between 1-2% of its total wealth each year to achieve net zero by 2050 (CCC).
- Great Britain could save up to £40bn by 2050 by creating a more innovative, flexible energy system (Imperial College).
- Nearly £4,000 has been invested for every household in GB grid infrastructure in the country since privatisation in 1990 - £100bn in total (Ofgem).
- Private investment helps bring down bills – electricity network costs have fallen by almost a fifth since privatisation whilst £100bn has been invested (Ofgem).
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.