Energy news round up: Give tenants the right to demand home efficiency improvements, urge campaigners

Plus: energy bills set to fall in autumn, and more

energy bills
(Image credit: Getty)

This week's energy news round-up comes just hours before Ofgem announces the new energy price cap, which promises decent savings for UK household's energy bills. (Make sure you run an energy comparison to find the best energy deals in your area.)

A new campaign is also calling for private tenants to be able to demand energy efficiency improvements, following the recent news of Chancellor Rishi Sunak's upcoming Green Homes Grant - and there's more. Read on for the biggest stories in energy from the last few days...

Energy bills could be £85 cheaper this autumn

Households across the UK could see an £85 reduction in their annual energy bills this autumn, due to a fall in wholesale gas and electricity prices. That's according to energy supplier E.ON, which predicts that Ofgem will announce a bill reduction equivalent to a 7.5 per cent cut in energy prices - or almost four weeks’ energy use for an average UK home - when it revises the energy price cap on Friday 7 August. 

"Whilst wholesale prices have continued to fluctuate in recent weeks, we saw significant falls since the start of the year driven by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown around the world," explains E.ON UK chief executive Michael Lewis.

"That dramatic fall in demand for energy – including oil and gas – caused wholesale energy markets to fall rapidly since the price cap was last amended at the start of this year. Because of this we expect a significantly lower level when Ofgem updates the price cap," he added. 

Give tenants the right to demand energy efficiency improvements, say campaigners

Campaign group Generation Rent has called on energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng to give private tenants the right to demand energy efficiency improvements in their homes. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new Green Homes Grant in July, which will provide up to £5,000 for measures to improve energy efficiency in owner occupied and private rented homes. However, private renters currently have to rely on their landlord to apply for the grant. 

Instead, the group says the government should promote the Green Homes Grant to private renters, and ring-fence part of the budget for energy improvements in private rented properties. It also suggests that tenants should be able to access their energy performance certificate and request quotes from accredited installers, which can then be sent to landlords to action. 

Ethical supplier People’s Energy is expanding

People’s Energy, a relatively new ethical energy supplier based in Scotland, is expanding in the Scottish Borders, generating 100 new jobs in the process. The company, which was set up by a husband-and-wife team, currently serves 180,000 gas and electricity customers, and was established to counter a lack of ethical and transparent suppliers in the energy market.

Energy news roundup

(Image credit: Pexels)

Scrap limits on offshore windfarm subsidy scheme, urges Scottish Power

The CEO of energy utility Scottish Power is calling on the government to scrap limits on the 2021 offshore wind subsidy auction, so that offshore wind can be brought in to assist the green economic recovery. The government has previously capped the amount of clean energy receiving subsidy contracts in an attempt to lower costs. However, Scottish Power insists that opening up the 2021 offshore wind subsidy auction to as many projects as possible will not lead to increases in energy bills. 

Withdrawal of free TV licences for pensioners will lead to fuel poverty charity warns

The axing of free TV licences for pensioners could force thousands into fuel poverty as they face the prospect of having to pay the full £157.50 licence fee. Age UK says most will not be aware they qualify for a free licence because of a low income, meaning many will have to choose between a licence fee and food and energy bills if they do not register for pension credit. The BBC is facing calls to scrap this policy. 


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Robin Whitlock

Robin is a freelance journalist specialising in renewable energy, environmental issues, climate change and transport. He's written for Renewable Energy Magazine for almost a decade, covering all sub-sectors of the global renewable industry - from onshore and offshore wind, solar PV and solar thermal energy, to biomass, anaerobic digestion (AD), geothermal, energy efficiency and smart technology, electric vehicles and hybrids, and much more.