The UK Government today published its National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, which sets out how government will support the delivery of key infrastructure projects and programmes to 2021. The Plan now includes energy efficiency, alongside energy priorities such as offshore wind, new nuclear power, gas and developing new interconnectors. The inclusion of energy efficiency follows the publication of a report by Frontier Economics for E3G assessing the case for energy efficiency to be made a UK Government infrastructure priority.
Frontier’s work asked two questions: first, whether domestic energy efficiency investments should be classified as infrastructure, and second whether such investments provide value for money when compared with to other infrastructure investments.
The analysis shows that investing in domestic energy efficiency should indeed be considered as investment in infrastructure. Though less visible than other infrastructure projects (such as new roads, electricity networks or railways), energy efficiency investment shares many characteristics with supply side energy sector investments. In addition, the report concludes that energy efficiency investments provide comparable benefits to projects like the first phase of High Speed 2 and the roll-out of smart meters. This is true even without placing values on many of the wider social benefits of energy efficiency measures, such as improved health and wellbeing. The report therefore concludes that there is a case for Government intervention, in the form of a publicly-funded investment programme.
Frontier regularly advises clients on issues relating to energy and climate change.
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