The Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has published a report entitled ‘Made in China: Importing higher energy bills’, which highlights the litany of choices the UK faces regarding which laws, rules and regulations it will retain once it has left the EU. Although discussions about the Internal Energy Market and Euratom are grabbing headlines at present, the UK faces a huge number of decisions on how it will govern more mundane aspects of energy policy from March 2019.
The important point here is that EU-led energy efficiency regulations have played a large part in UK residential energy demand falling by nearly one-fifth from 1990 to 2014 (and £290 taken off the average dual fuel bill since 2008), as old energy-hungry appliances have been replaced by less wasteful alternatives.
However, once outside the EU, Britain will be able to set its own standards on energy efficiency, potentially making UK energy efficiency rules less stringent than those on the continent. Analysis by the ECIU shows that loosening regulations on just eight products could add more than £90 to an average annual electricity bill, should less efficient Chinese appliances replace the current UK bestsellers and consumers return to old-style light bulbs.
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