Letter: Brutal plans for energy conservation

Share
Sir: Matthew Taylor (article, 19 May) wrote of Labour's commitment to the environment, "Tough action is needed." It certainly is.

In 1979 those of us serving on the Government's Advisory Council for Energy Conservation (ACEC) soon learnt about political correctness and party dogma from the incoming administration. We were told to stop using the term, "energy conservation" and to speak of "energy efficiency". That soon became, "cost-effective energy efficiency" and, of course, even ACEC itself was soon sent packing.

This had much to do with the intention to privatise the fuel suppliers. How could the proceeds from the sales be maximised if markets were to be curtailed by "energy conservation" - selling less product?

Eighteen years on, the UK languishes at the bottom of the world league even in "energy efficiency", let alone in "conservation". British Gas's much-vaunted pounds 15m-a-year spend on energy conservation quietly disappeared once the company had left the family silver cabinet. The electricity industry has its paltry pounds 1-per-customer-per-year SOP scheme and even most of the non-fossil fuel levy has been diverted into the technological triumphalism of nuclear power.

A few years ago I heard Frank Dobson saying at a conference that the fuel suppliers had to realise that environmental protection would only be achieved if they were made to sell less energy tomorrow than they did today. The same could apply to the water industry. Mr Dobson is the only politician I have heard putting the matter so succinctly and, for the fuel profiteers, so brutally. Mr Blair needs to take the ideal aboard - and quickly.

ROBERT JONES

Chelmsford, Essex

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

 

Naturism criminalised: Why not being able to bare all is a bummer

Simon Usborne
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on