Half of the big six energy firms fail to meet all of their legally binding energy efficiency targets


Half of the big six energy firms are to be investigated by industry regulator Ofgem for failing to meet all of their legally binding energy efficiency targets.

British Gas, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), and Scottish Power all missed one or more of their targets under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Savings Scheme (CESP) - the government schemes which preceeded the Green Deal. Both schemes ended on 31 December 2012.

Energy generators Drax, GDF Suez/IPM and Intergen are also being investigated for failing to meet targets.

However, other firms exceeded their targets meaning that 99% of the energy savings required were achieved.

Under CERT firms were required to deliver overall carbon savings of 293m Mt CO2 of that 73.4 Mt CO2 had to be delivered through insulation measures being installed.

Both SSE and British Gas missed their contributions to these two targets. SSE also only delivered 99.7% of its required energy savings in poorer and elderly households and 73.8% of the energy savings it needed to deliver to the highest priority group of the most vulnerable.

Scottish Power and British Gas also missed their targets to deliver energy savings under the CESP scheme, which targets the most deprived areas of the country. British Gas achieved 62.4% of its target and Scottish Power delivered 70% of its savings.

Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement, said it was a welcome result that 99% of the energy savings targeted had been delivered.

But she added: “Ofgem’s role is to ensure that consumers do not lose out by the failure of firms to deliver all the help required or are not disadvantaged by late delivery. This is why Ofgem is today launching investigations into six firms who have failed one or more of their energy efficiency targets set by government.”

Richard Griffiths of the UK Green Building Council, said: “These figures show that significant steps have been taken over recent years in delivering the ‘easy wins’ in home energy efficiency and that is, of course, encouraging.

Richard Giffiths, consultant at the UK Green Building Council, said that “significant steps” had been taken to deliver “easy wins”.

He added: “However, we should not underestimate the scale of the challenge that remains ahead. Delivering even these simple measures was no small task despite them being relatively easy to install and incredibly cheap (or free) to households.

“Many of the lofts and cavities that remain are either technically ‘hard to treat’ or belong to households that have been consistently hard to reach.”

He said that the Green Deal and Eco schemes now needed strong long term incentives to ensure these more tricky tasks were accomplished.

During the CERT programme 3.9m lofts and 2.5m cavity walls were insulated.

Under CESP 75,000 solid walls were insulated and a further 24,000 lofts were insulated.