The environmental lobby while strong has no political representation in the UK Parliament. That is not to say that the political parties are ignoring the need for ‘green targets’. The Energy Minister, Ed Davey, has recently focused on the need to improve energy efficiency, perhaps by as much as 30% by the end of the next decade. The Government is keen on legislation to enforce a cut in carbon use and it will be interesting to see what is passed. There are many things that will help. They include the consumer making plans to conserve energy. That can be something as simple as turning off lights more regularly. It can be by home improvements such a double glazing. Industry has a major responsibility and everyone likes to see a stated policy of saving energy in manufacturing and working policy.
Some businesses are particularly keen on a ‘green image.’ A German company, Knauf Insulation, recently took the step of closing an Italian factory and opening in Turkey and Malaysia citing energy efficiency as a major factor; the company wants to see real commitment to energy efficiency by the EU in the form of legislation.
Several major companies in the UK, including Kingspan, Unilever, Philips and Ikea have also written to the Prime Minster, David Cameron, calling for strong targets and penalties for non compliance. This is an interesting development at a time when the EU faces the problem of reliance on Russia for oil and gas while the dispute with the Ukraine continues.
Domestically, individuals and businesses are doing their own thing. No one can be compelled to install double glazing in their homes and offices but it certainly makes sense to do so. Energy bills are a significant expense of house and business alike. If companies like www.windowstoreplastics.co.uk are asked to supply modern UPVC products then the chances of heat escaping are minimised and energy bills will fall.
Inflation is currently running at just over 1% and the current oil price should mean that prices do not rise this winter. That is excellent news because there have been regular rises in recent years including during the recession. The prospect of a company actually being able to put a lower figure into its utility budget next time round is welcome news for profitability and welcome news for the environment.
Whether definitive and compulsory targets can be agreed at a national and EU level remains to be seen. If families and businesses take action for their own personal benefit then the picture could look brighter. It would be something that the environmental lobby could point to in order to put even more pressure on the political parties that are supposedly looking after everyone’s interests.