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What does net zero mean for businesses?

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the transition period for businesses to adapt to new legislation ended on 31 December 2020. Focus now shifts towards the next major talking point- the government’s 2050 net zero carbon goal.

In December 2020, the UK Government published the Energy white paper: Powering our net zero future. This paper builds on the ten-point plan that was previously released and outlines the government’s requirements for reaching the UK’s goal of being net zero by 2050.

In this blog, we will help demystify the white paper and shed further light on particular areas that affect businesses.

What is net zero?
Put simply, net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.

How is the UK going to meet net zero by 2050?
Following on from the 10 point plan and the National Infrastructure Strategy, the Energy White Paper provides further detail in what measures and strategy has been put in place to reach net zero. These are focused on three key themes.
1.     Transform energy
2.     Support a green recovery
3.     Create a fair deal for consumers

1.   Transform energy
Decarbonising the power sector has so far led the UK’s efforts to reduce Co2 emissions.  Over the last 20 years, there has been a great shift from the government relying on fossil fuels to expanding its fuel mix to renewables. Switching from conventional fuel mixes to more renewable sources is the quickest and easiest way everyone and every business can help reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Support a green recovery
As part of this the government has created a policy that means all non-domestic buildings in the UK will need to be EPC Band B by 2030.

Improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective mechanisms for businesses to reduce their energy bills while reducing their carbon emissions. The government is currently setting out schemes to be able to help companies audit and recognise cost-saving opportunities within their business operations, but this isn’t likely to be rolled out until after 2023.

3. Create a fair deal for consumers
Within the Energy White Paper, the government states: “We are committed to making the right reforms that will protect the interests of consumers and create opportunities to reduce bills and carbon emissions.”

As an initial step, the government is publishing a call for evidence to begin a strategic dialogue between policymakers, consumers and industry on affordability and fairness. This should provide a fair view of the market and highlight particular areas in need of change.

The B2C supplier energy market is currently regulated by Ofgem, however, the current regulation does not stretch to brokers, third party companies or price comparison services. The government is therefore working alongside Ofgem to ensure updated regulations can be created and upheld for the benefit of business consumers.

Preparing your business for a net zero future
As we find out more, we’ll be providing further guidance for businesses in specific industries in the coming months. Keep an eye out for updates at:
If you would like to find out how you can help future proof your business, please contact Planet-U Energy by emailing Dan: [email protected]

This guest blog was provided by Planet-U

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