Comment: Claire Coutinho appointed Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Ministerial change sees Grant Shapps replaced at Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on the news that Claire Coutinho has been appointed Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Jess Ralston, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: "The in-tray for the new DESNZ Secretary of State is pretty full with documents that should be marked urgent. An announcement on the latest auction of the flagship renewables Contracts for Difference scheme is expected next week and may not deliver much which would leave bill payers footing the bill for failure given gas power stations are set to remain much more expensive than new offshore wind farms.

“Energy efficiency schemes that have delivered bill savings for homes in the past are flatlining and the Government’s delay to insulation standards in the private rented sector will see renters, who are also voters, facing higher energy bills in the years to come.

“There is a lack of clarity on the fossil fuel boiler phase-out both on and off the gas grid, and the heating industry faces losing £65m per year in exports if we go slow on heat pumps. [1]

“Despite committing to end the effective ban on onshore wind in December, the Government is still yet to make any real progress, meaning less cheap electricity on the grid which translates to higher bills.

“Energy security has never been a higher priority, and insulating homes, moving away from gas boilers and building more British renewables all help make us less vulnerable to global oil and gas markets. It's a no brainer to focus on these net zero policies to ensure households are shielded from future market volatility, getting on with delivering them will surely be a priority."


Notes to editors:

  1. UK could lose £65m exports each year if heat pump roll out is slow:

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George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: