Simplify 'unwieldy' energy-efficiency policy, retailers tell UK government

British retailers say they are being held back from making energy efficiency improvements by an 'overly complex, unwieldy and misaligned policy landscape'.

The British Retail Consortium says there is widespread confusion and disengagement with energy efficiency. It is pushing for policy to be simplified and clarified, to enable retailers to drive down costs and reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

A clearer and more accessible policy landscape can deliver great potential in energy efficiency for the future"

British Retail Consortium

To cut through this policy confusion, the BRC has set up an online ‘energy hub’ to provide information and advice and help retailers share their experiences. It wants to help retailers cut energy use by 25 per cent over the next five years.

'With energy costs expected to increase significantly over the next five years, greater energy efficiency is vital for the long-term growth and viability of the industry, not to mention helping the fight against climate change. The BRC believes that a clearer and more accessible policy landscape can deliver great potential in energy efficiency for the future.'

The BRC said retailers are already 'leading the way' on energy efficiency, with a 33 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in stores between 2005 and 2012 and a drop in energy consumption from buildings of 50 per cent based on 2005 levels.

'Further progress by Britain's retailers will depend upon measures to simplify an overly complex, unwieldy and misaligned policy landscape which presents much uncertainty for companies, making it difficult for them to invest and bring about further efficiencies,' the organisation said.

'The BRC believes that a range of small, but significant policy simplifications could lead to further improvements in energy efficiency across the retail industry, which will in turn help drive greater investment in green technologies to the benefit of the wider economy while also achieving significant steps towards climate change and energy security objectives.'

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: 'Energy and energy efficiency are of strategic importance to Britain's retailers. Through our 25-in-5 campaign, we believe we can build on what has been done so far to help drive energy efficiency across the retail industry, allowing our members to benefit from significant energy cost savings while at the same time making a vital contribution to the UK's climate change and energy security goals.'

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