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  • Our experts process over 93,000 invoices per month and we've recovered over £11m in over-charges for our clients in the last year
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  • Last year we saved our CCA clients alone £25.5m

The Clean Growth Strategy: What does it mean to you?

UK business and Energy Secretary Greg Clarke has released the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy (CGS). It outlines how the UK can reduce its reliance on carbon and lower emissions, also ensuring support for renewables and sustainable energy sources.

The CGS has several important outcomes for businesses: the investment in ‘clean growth’ is expected to have a positive impact on the economy, through the creation of new jobs and investment in technology, and forms a key part of the UK’s industrial strategy. On an immediate and practical level however, it will mean changes to energy efficiency commitments for businesses of all sizes, particularly where business heating systems are concerned, and it will also lead to changes in carbon reporting, with the reform of the ESOS scheme and the introduction of a new streamlined energy and carbon reporting framework. This will follow two separate consultations, which were also launched this week. The property sector is likely to feel the impact most deeply, with other energy intensive industries close behind.

CGS Key aim: Increased economic growth AND decreased emissions

Key messages:

In 2016 47% of our electricity came from low carbon sources – around double that of 2010. We now have the largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world and the price of low carbon technology continues to tumble. However, more investment is needed to continue this trend and ensure the UK can secure maximum industrial and economic benefit from the global transition to a low carbon economy.

Buildings are more efficient in the way they use energy – reducing emissions and bills. But these still account for one third of all carbon emissions and cutting this will be a major focus going forward.

Businesses are to be supported to improve energy productivity by at least 20% by 2030. We’ll keep you up to date with progress and details of the consultation set to take place.

To meet fourth and fifth carbon budgets (2023-2027), significant acceleration in decarbonisation is needed. Businesses – and the way they use energy and heat their buildings – will have a significant role to play, and policy will be put in place to progress this.

Key considerations addressed by the CGS:

The affordability of energy – this is to be assessed under independent review. We’ll keep you up to date.

The impact of leaving EU – Brexit will not affect the commitments made under the CCA but the UK needs to ensure its strategies remain at least as strong.

The need for low cost, low carbon technologies – to meet commitments at the lowest net cost to taxpayers, consumers and businesses.

Key objectives:

  • Investing £2.5billion in low carbon innovation 2015 – 2021
  • Policies to deliver social benefits eg. Higher quality, energy efficient, ‘healthy’ buildings to work and live in
  • Reducing heat waste from our buildings
  • Accelerating roll-out of low carbon transport
  • Delivery of a diverse and secure energy mix


Devolved Administrations have a range of plans and policies in place to deliver emission reductions.

Areas have been identified by the CGS, where greatest progress will need to be seen, in order to meet the fifth carbon budget – industry will be one such focus area.

Businesses account for 25% of UK emissions and will be tasked with lowering this by 20% by 2030

The CGS will instigate the following steps:

  • A Green Finance Taskforce – to make recommendations on public and private sector investment
  • Work with BSI to develop voluntary sustainable finance management standards
  • A consultation on energy efficiency of new and existing commercial buildings
  • Raising of minimum standards of energy efficiency for rented commercial buildings
  • Exploration of how voluntary building standards can support energy efficiency improvement in business buildings and improve advice of energy efficiency to SMEs
  • Simplification of requirements for businesses to measure and report on energy use – Consultations on ESOS and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting have also been launched. Watch this space for a breakdown on what this might mean for the future of ESOS and a single reporting framework.
  • Establishment of an industrial energy efficiency scheme to help large companies install measures to cut consumption and bills.
  • Publication of an industrial decarbonisation and energy efficiency action plan with seven of the most energy intensive industrial sectors – Watch this space for a sector by sector breakdown of what this may mean for businesses.
  • Demonstration of international leadership in Carbon Capture Usage and Storage CCUS, investing up to £100 million in industrial innovation and CCUS.
  • Development of a strategic approach to greenhouse gas removal technologies.
  • Phasing out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing businesses off the gas grid during 2020s, starting with new build.
  • Investment of £162 million in research and innovation in Energy, Resource and Process efficiency, including £20 million to encourage switching to lower carbon fuels.
  • Investment of £14 million in Energy Entrepreneurs Fund


Low carbon transport is a major focus of the CGS, and the shift to low carbon transport, along with investment in trials of HGV platoons, will be an important consideration, as well as an opportunity for businesses. Watch this space for more information on the future of EVs and what it could mean to businesses.

Investment in smart, clean, flexible power:

The Smart Systems Plan, introduced by the CGS, aims to provide around £900 million of public funds to innovation including:

  • £265 million in smart systems to reduce cost of electricity storage, demand response technology and new grid balancing methods.
  • £460 million in nuclear fuel advancements
  • £177 million to reduce cost of renewables including innovation in offshore wind technology.


However, the government will also need to incentivise businesses to invest heavily in energy efficiency and low carbon heating systems and new technology for their buildings. UK electricity prices are currently the second highest in the EU, while gas prices are some of the lowest, and this will pose a challenge during the transition away from carbon based fuel.

Public sector impact:

Public sector businesses will also see tighter controls on emissions, with the introduction of a voluntary public sector target of 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020-21 for the wider public sector. £225 million of funding will be made available for energy efficiency improvements.

What now? We’ll keep you updated with further developments and provide you with the opportunity to have your say in forthcoming consultations. Look out for more information on the ESOS and Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting Consultations from us next week.

If you would like more information on anything contained within this communication, please call us on 08451 463626 or email