Whose losses are they?

Last week I spoke on a panel at a webinar hosted by Enertechnos, a company which produces low loss cables for the electricity distribution sector and who have just produced a report on how losses impact our ability to meet net zero. We have consistently argued that Ofgem is not putting enough focus on the important question of losses in its approac...

What is Fair? – Ask the people

It was great to see the conclusions of the Citizens Climate Assembly published last week, having looked in depth [1] at the French equivalent. As an advocate of citizens assemblies and deliberative engagement more broadly, and given the crucial importance of tackling climate change, I am clear that the report deserves to be taken seriously and read...

The voice of the people – Part 2

There's been a recent wave of good news around deliberative engagement on climate change. Last week the UK Climate Assembly produced an interim briefing on the question of a green recovery and the French equivalent produced its full 460 page report with 150 recommendations. It was uplifting to see Le Monde covering that report in depth including a ...

A local green recovery

It is a widespread ask from environmental groups, including Sustainability First, that as we emerge from the current crisis the focus must be on a green recovery. Ahead of the Petersburg Climate Dialogue recently Britain's Business Secretary Alok Sharma said that "the world must work together, as it has to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, to sup...

The voice of the people

It's not surprising that groups like Sustainability First are calling for a focus on a green recovery from the current crisis. But what does the population at large think? We know that concerns about climate change had been rising rapidly up the agenda but are they now being pushed back down as people are faced with much more immediate financial an...

What do we do now? Re-framing Ofgem’s priorities

In the face of the wide-ranging impacts of the coronavirus crisis, Ofgem have rightly said that they are reviewing their Forward Work Plan to allow more focus on short term issues around consumer protection and also to avoid over-burdening companies, acknowledging that the regulatory process can be demanding. As a part of that re-prioritisation, Su...

Time for a radical rethink

While there is near universal support for the move to net zero emissions, the elephant in the room remains the question of how this should be paid for.  The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) asked HM Treasury to undertake a review of how the transition will be funded and where the costs will fall, noting that a key policy challenge is to ensur...

What does a 'fair' energy system look like?

It's widely understood that we are in the midst of an energy transition driven by the need to de-carbonise and the broader trends of digitalisation and decentralisation / democratisation. Sustainability First has been engaged in these debates from a consumer stand-point for a long time including running a major multi-party project from 2011-2014 wh...

Letter from America

Last year Sustainability First was invited to present to a delegation of commissioners and public advocacy groups from California on the consumer and public interest issues in energy in GB. On a recent trip out there I was able, among other things, to call on reciprocal hospitality and met with Wyatt Lundy of the California Foundation on the Enviro...

Upping the ambition level for smart meter data

The smart meter rollout has featured regularly in the news over recent months, with much debate about the wisdom of maintaining the 2020 deadline and with the distinction between SMETS1 and SMETS2 having made it into everyday parlance. Sustainability First has long supported the case for smart meters as key to delivering many of the changes needed ...