Energy Policy in the UK

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2016 Energy Service Group Conference
1 March 2016

This conference believes that the Government has failed to address significant issues relating to the future of energy supply in the UK.

Despite repeated warnings by a range of stakeholders including UNISON, the Conservative Government’s inability to strategically plan for a low carbon energy supply future leaves the country in a perilous position going forward. We now face the very real possibility of interruptions in supply at peak times, a failure to meet carbon emission targets and a likelihood of big increases in energy bills throwing many more consumers into fuel poverty.

This indecision and lack of clear strategy is creating significant uncertainty amongst employers, which itself is leading to a lack of investment in the future energy infrastructure the UK requires. This uncertainty is also leading to an unnecessary loss of employment for members in the energy industry and is creating a climate of fear where staff worry that more job losses are only around the corner.

Conference further notes that the Government’s failure to prioritise this crucial area is leading to a huge reduction in work delivering domestic energy efficiency. This is work that could reduce energy demand and, with it, greenhouse gas emissions and, importantly, secure current employment prospects for existing members and provide new job growth which would in turn grow UNISON’s potential membership.

Conference therefore call on the Energy SGE to

1)Continue to lobby politicians and stakeholders to develop a sustainable long term energy policy that is fit for purpose in that it ensures continuity of supply, meets all environmental obligations and addresses the scandal of fuel poverty.

2)Continue to promote the findings of the UNISON ‘Warm Homes’ report to push the domestic energy efficiency solution to our strategic challenges and raise UNISON’s profile

3)Develop UNISON thinking around alternative approaches to securing the necessary investment in energy infrastructure, including using public monies where necessary.

4)Continue to lobby the Government to ensure the requirements of Just Transition are met in the UK so that any jobs lost in more traditional areas of energy production are replaced with equivalent opportunities in the economy and workers supported to make this transition.

Continue to work with EPSU to ensure the European dimension to these challenges is addressed through dialogue with the European Commission and European employers