With ‘Brexit’ confirmed just 7 days ago, a huge amount seems to have changed in the interim. Our prime minister has announced he will stand down, the opposition seem to be in chaos at the hands of Corbyn; and (something that we might have all seen coming) England have once again failed to make the quarter finals of a major football tournament.
Hinkley C nuclear power plant now cancelled?
Magnifying in slightly on the energy sector, we have been told by several sources that EDF are using Brexit as an excuse to pull out of the long-maligned Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Anyone who has been following this saga will know how long it took to get to this stage (2008 if memory serves). So the prospect of any new nuclear generating capacity is now, I feel, just a distant pipe dream.
This is not the end of the world by any stretch, especially since the government has guaranteed EDF a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (Mwh), or £89.50 if EDF develops another new reactor in Sizewell, Suffolk – almost 3 times what it currently costs to buy power. I seems pretty clear the government will take the relatively easy option of replacing existing ageing plants with new gas power plants. However, that places us at the mercy of other gas-producing countries, because Ms Sturgeon’s North Sea oil is unfortunately too expensive to get at. This does suggest that there will be energy price hikes going forward, which will have a negative impact on households.
Interest rates falling – a good time to invest in your home
Another impact of the Brexit will be a further reduction in interest rates. This offers a great opportunity to use cheap money to invest – be it on a new car, a new boiler before winter or a new facade for your home. With the payback on many of these items just a few years, now is the perfect time to do it.
Fifth Carbon Budget legislation passed
Finally, Amber Rudd announced yesterday that despite the result of the referendum, carbon budgets were still very much part of our future. The 5th carbon budget was announced yesterday by the government, which calls for a reduction in carbon emissions by 57% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. This legally binding carbon budget is much tougher than the carbon emissions target we signed up to as part of the EU (only 40% by 2030), so shows that the government really are committed. As coal power plants continue to close and are replaced by the cleaner gas power plants, it is clear this will go some way to meeting carbon reduction targets. However the worry for me is that we don’t have the policies in place to deliver the change – ECO is still kicking about, but the Green Deal died a death this time last year.
TheEcoStore joins the Government’s apprentice scheme
Regarding TheGreenAge, Nick and I have both been clocking up the miles this week. A visit down to the south coast gave me the opportunity to see some of our installers in action on a big retrofit development in Bournemouth. As I type, Nick is giving training on a range of insulation measures up at Apex Insulation in Nottingham. In the office we want to officially welcome our first new apprentice, Zana, who is going to be helping the EcoStore guys out in a business admin role as well as taking on some social media duties.
Thanks to Aerotherm!
We also had a bit of fun in the office on Wednesday when the guys at Aerotherm sent us some of their products to try out. The lightweight paste (more like mousse) gets applied internally and acts to reflect heat back into the home. Obviously we were just trying to see if it could be used as a DIY product (which, as it turns out, it can) but we are going to be looking at getting some quantitative evidence on potential energy savings shortly.
Thats it for this week – our first Company news article!
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Have a great weekend!