The 2015 General Election Energy Policies
With the general election date getting closer each day, the five main parties involved have been the centre of much media attention, and their policies on the tip of every voter’s tongue. There are a number of key issues forming the pillars of each candidate’s manifesto, such as taxes, EU membership and immigration, and the future of the NHS.
But what does the general election mean for energy? What changes will each party’s energy policy bring to the market? Below is a short guide to the five main parties’ energy policies, and their propositions for the future of the UK energy market.
On top of recent changes that the coalition government has made, the Labour Party want to continue making positive changes to the energy market. Some of their key points are:
- Freeze energy prices to reduce bills for both business and domestic consumers
- Break the Big Six’s hold on the market
- More simple tariff structures to reduce confusion
- Freeze energy prices until 2017
- Continue the smart meter rollout.
The Liberal Democrats have outlined a number of specific actions to tackle the flaws in UK energy:
Introduce new rules for property landlords:
- Only able to let properties that meet efficiency standards (from April 2018)
- Unable to refuse tenant requests for efficiency improvements (from April 2016)
Implement a ‘Fuel Poverty Strategy’ to help those unable to afford sufficient heating
Introduce council tax discounts for energy efficiency improvements
- Create jobs in the green energy sector
- Introduce 5p plastic bag charges country-wide.
The Conservative party has perhaps been the least detailed about their plans for energy:
- Introduce an extensive new energy policy
- Remain committed to the country’s 2020 renewable energy goals
- Create an ‘energy internet’ to streamline supply and demand
- Facilitate nuclear power and reduce dependency on oil
- Attain energy security through diversity in energy technology and generation.
As somewhat expected, the green party has more of a focus on energy than their competitors, with specific actions spanning a number of topics. For example:
- Place a large focus on investing in renewable energy sources
- Cut costs across all sectors through demand reduction and increased efficiency
- Improve energy efficiency of non-domestic buildings
- Invest in low-carbon transport
- Strengthen international energy policy
UKIP also have very clear ideas for the direction in which they’d like to move the UK energy market:
- Move energy policy outside of EU to drive costs down and reduce fuel poverty
- Cancel renewable subsidies and feed-in tariffs
- Stop wind power development
- Invest in fracking for shale gas
- Do away with green taxes to lower bills
- Repeal 2008 climate change act to lower cost to economy
- Introduce a new energy policy focussed on nuclear, gas and coal sources.
Each party has thus far given a relatively clear indication of their views toward the UK energy market, and the actions they would take to improve it. You can find out more information on each party’s intended actions on their websites. There is still some time to go before the election, however, and official manifestos have yet to be released, so there’s a chance that more details on energy policies will emerge in the coming weeks.
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