Here are the key energy and sustainability-related announcements in today’s Spring Budget statement:
- Carbon Capture use and storage will be supported as part of a ‘clean energy reset’, with up to £20 billion in government funding over the next 20 years.
- Nuclear power to be classed as environmentally sustainable (subject to consultation) giving the same investment incentives as for renewable energy; ‘Great British Nuclear’ will be launched to help establish supply chains and drive down costs; and a competition for a Small Modular Reactor design will be completed by the end of this year and co-funded by government, if viable.
- Climate Change Agreements will be further extended for another two years. Existing participants that meet agreed energy efficiency targets will continue to pay reduced rates of Climate Change Levy in 2025-26 and 2026-27, and the extension will be open to new participants in currently eligible sectors. DESNZ will consult on details of the extension and proposals for any potential future scheme.
- Energy Efficiency support of over £100 million for charities and community organisations, and over £60 million for public swimming pools in England, will be available to help them invest in energy efficiency measures.
- Planning Reform – National Policy Statements are being updated to deliver a more sustainable system and provide greater certainty for investors – a consultation on the updated Energy NPS and the final Water NPS will be published shortly. The government has asked the National Infrastructure Commission to look at the role of NPSs and report in Spring 2023 on how the process could be improved.
- Energy Bills Discount Scheme will continue to provide all eligible businesses and other non-domestic energy users with a discount on high energy bills until 31 March 2024, following the end of the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme. It will also provide higher levels of support for businesses in energy intensive sectors with high levels of trade intensity.
- Energy Price Guarantee for domestic energy supplies will be kept at £2,500 for an additional three months from April to June 2023 (below Ofgem’s £3,280 Price Cap) and will revert to £3,000 from July 2023 until the end of March 2024.
- VAT relief for energy saving materials – The government has published a call for evidence on options to reform the VAT relief for the installation of energy saving materials in the UK.
- Road fuel duty will be frozen – the 5p fuel duty cut will be maintained for another 12 months.
Jeremy Nicholson, Head of Corporate Affairs at Alfa Energy (an Edison Energy company), commented:
“Business users will be relieved to know support with energy bills will continue very much as expected. There are encouraging announcements too on carbon capture and new nuclear, technologies we need to develop in tandem with renewables if we are to keep energy supplies secure whilst meeting our net zero ambitions.”
The full Spring Budget documentation is available here: Spring Budget 2023 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Alfa Energy Group
Alfa Energy Group, an Edison Energy company, is an international energy, sustainability and technology consultant partner with 200 employees over 4 international locations. For over 25 years, Alfa has been servicing its clients’ needs through energy and water management, sustainability, and compliance consulting, and an intuitive ecosystem of user-driven energy, water, and carbon management software platforms. With coveted awards, an international industry-wide recognition, and clever simple solutions, today Alfa is partnering with clients to establish and deliver pivotal net zero strategies. Through smart energy management, the expertise and diligence of its people, transparent processes, and data management, Alfa continues to lead through its recognised gold standard of service delivery.