When promoting sustainability, our principal objective is to look after the interests of consumers. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and, more generally, contributing to the achievement of sustainable development while taking note of government guidance on social and environmental matters.
Energy companies have a vital role in facilitating the transition to a low carbon economy. Our work in promoting sustainability includes initiatives to:
- protect vulnerable consumers
- promote energy saving and demand side response
- support improvements in all aspects of the environment.
EU and UK targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable power provide the overall policy direction for the energy sector. With this as our guiding beacon, we focus on the challenges faced by the transmission and distribution companies that we regulate.
For example, as part of the current electricity distribution price control mechanism that runs to 31 March 2015, we established the Low Carbon Networks Fund. This provides support for Distribution Network Operators’ projects to try out ways to address the challenges they face in moving to a low carbon economy.
Similarly, as part of our RIIO price controls , we will introduce annual Network Innovation Competitions for electricity transmission (£30m pa) and gas transmission and distribution (£20m pa) for them to address the challenges they face in moving to a low carbon economy.
Furthermore, over the coming year, we will continue to develop our Smarter Markets Programme and our approach to smart grids.
We monitor progress on a range of sustainable development indicators, such as carbon emissions, which you can view in Sustainability reporting: interactive data application.