Made in China: importing higher energy bills

The implications of scrapping EU domestic appliance standards on British household energy bills

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Six months into the two-year process that will see the UK leave the European Union, the nation faces a litany of choices about which laws, rules and regulations it will retain once outside the jurisdiction of European lawmakers. Within the energy sector, participation within the Internal Energy Market and Euratom are grabbing headlines, yet the UK faces a huge number of decisions on how it will govern more mundane aspects of energy policy from March 2019.

EU-led energy efficiency regulations have played a large part in UK residential energy demand falling by nearly one-fifth from 1990 to 2014 (and £290 taken off the average dual fuel bill since 2008), as old energy-hungry appliances have been replaced by less wasteful alternatives.

Once outside the EU, Britain will be able to set its own standards on energy efficiency, potentially becoming less stringent than those on the Continent. Analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit shows that loosening regulations on just eight products could add more than £90 to an average annual electricity bill, should less efficient Chinese appliances replace the current UK bestsellers and consumers return to old-style light bulbs.

The report, Made in China: importing higher energy bills, is available here.