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Plans to pass on Renewable savings

Though it may go out the window with the next PM, the current government is planning to reform the way energy is sold on the wholesale markets so cheaper renewable energy prices get passed onto consumers.

This could well bring about new usage patterns across the board that are similar to those used by people using micro-generation and storage at home. The government consultation announced last week is intended to help tackle the cost of livingcrisis by passing on the lower costs of renewable energy to consumers.

Wholesale Energy Prices Led by Gas?

Currently, despite fossil fuel supplied electricity only accounting for 40% of the energy supply, consumers are paying over the odds in order for the gas and coal plants to keep running.

While nuclear and renewables account for 60% ofenergy supply the wholesale market was designed to benefit gas powered energy generation. Consequently, even as we use relatively little fossil fuels for energy they are forcing prices up even while the other forms of energy are much cheaper.

In May this year, Prof Michael Grubb at the UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resource said that in the current energy market, said of gas prices influencing the wholesale energy price,

“It’s a bit like having to pay the peak-period price for every train journey you take.”

Hourly Tariffs?

One possible upshot of the consultation is that,according to the Guardian newspaper, consumers could be incentivised to use energy when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. As with the Agile Octopus tariff, you might have an hourly energy price on a variable tariff. This might encourage you to put the washing machine on a day later at lunchtime when the weather forecast is for sunny weather, or on a windy evening.

This is very like what those with solar energy and storage systems such as the ZPN HEMS or BEMS system find themselves doing already. If you have 4kW of energy available from your home solar panels then it is far more sensible to put the washing machine on, charge your EV car and do your baking on a sunny day than in the dark of the evening. You do it because the energy is coming from your roof and not the grid and saves you money!

Though an hourly tariff could be confusing for older people for example, they would understand it is cheaper to use energy on a sunny or windy day. This would also reduce our reliance on fossil fuelled power stations too as we change our energy usage habits.

Lame Duck Government Health Warning!

Whoever replaces Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson in 10 Downing Street is likely to want a whole new set of policies so they can fight the next election. As such, while we like the idea of a new wholesale market that benefits renewable energy, we just don’t know if this will survive any new government’s policy. Many policies good and bad have fallen by the wayside as May replaced Cameron and Johnson replaced May. Will this idea die too?

Story by ZPN Energy


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