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Tempus Energy's Groundbreaking Court Ruling Opens Door to Lower Prices

 

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  • Innovator Tempus Energy successfully challenges fossil fuel bias in UK power market
  • £5.6bn committed in customer-funded subsidies favouring polluting fossil fuels ruled unlawful
  • Ruling paves the way for cleaner, cheaper energy market

Cleantech innovator Tempus Energy has successfully challenged a UK subsidy scheme that allows fossil fuels to dominate the market. The European Court delivered the landmark ruling today.

The ruling opens to the door to an overhaul of UK energy policy.

The UK's National Grid caters for 'peak demand' scenarios via the Capacity Market established by the UK Government in 2014. Tempus Energy brought its challenge on the basis that the design of this market ensures profits for coal, gas and diesel generators, leaving cheaper, cleaner alternatives virtually unable to compete.

Using billpayers' money to finance fossil fuels without their consent - with several billion pounds committed so far - shuts out more innovative solutions for guaranteeing supply, which are actually cheaper for customers.

Commenting on the ruling by the European Court, Sara Bell CEO of Tempus Energy said:  

"A customer revolution is on the cards. This ruling opens the door for cheaper energy - greater use of demand-side innovation would change the way we use electricity in practice, and place customers at the heart of the energy system for the first time.

"Consumers know it pays to be flexible - we've been using off-peak trains for years. The energy system is exactly the same. Off-peak power should mean off-peak prices.

"This ruling should ultimately force the UK Government to design an energy system that reduces bills by incentivising and empowering customers to use electricity in the most cost-effective way - while maximising the use of climate-friendly renewables.

"Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and increasing our use of renewables has the added benefit of delivering better air quality and bigger carbon cuts across the country."

As the government seeks ways to fulfil energy demand and reduce CO2 emissions, 'demand-side' solutions have so far played far too small a role in discussions.

A recent study by Poyry Management Consultants and Imperial College found integrating new sources of flexibility - such as customer demand flexibility - to manage the energy system would save between £3.2bn and £4.7bn each year.

By streamlining their energy use, customers can participate too. As 'demand-side' energy providers, customers can earn revenue and make significant savings by avoiding using the grid at peak times. New, 'smart' technology allows customers to do this automatically and easily.

Bell said: "Customers are not only footing the bill for this ill-designed scheme, they are also being prevented from accessing its potential benefits themselves."

Commercial customers are already taking advantage of the economic benefits of renewables and electricity storage. However, UK policy has not kept up with the way in which customers are using and generating clean, cost-efficient energy.

Bell added: "If the Government is serious about decarbonising energy at the lowest cost to the customer, it must design a market that encourages, not stifles, environmental friendly technology.

"The energy transition is about supporting smart technology and equipping the consumer to manage their own energy - not funding fossil fuels."

Notes to Editors:  

Demand management - explainer 
Smart technology on the demand side can bring benefits both to households and to large energy customers such as those who have factory processes that can automatically shift to a time when energy demand (and prices) are low and renewables are abundant e.g. when the sun shines or the wind blows - or use power from a battery.

By tapping into energy when overall demand is low and supply is plentiful, non-time critical customer appliances and equipment that do not need to run at the same level continuously - such as charging a fleet of electric delivery vans or running a dishwasher - can be operated at a much lower cost.

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