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Better energy efficiency policies required to move to low carbon economy

Policies to improve energy efficiency have not been developed enough for the UK to make a successful transition to a low carbon economy - that's the view of a professor from Cardiff University.

Professor Phil Jones told Energy Live News that the existing buildings regulations and other regulations are not developing fast enough.

"In the UK, we have policies on energy efficiency, especially in the built environment. The question is will they enable the transition to a low-carbon economy quick enough in relation to climate change, security of energy supply and to resolve pollution?"

Speaking at a the Horizon 2020 conference for academics at Brunel University, he added that the UK is falling behind other countries at the moment.

"Although we have long-term targets for carbon dioxide reductions in energy efficiency, our shorter term mechanisms are being pushed back into the future," he said.

Professor Jones believes that the solution lies in implementing new mechanisms that will help to put existing policies into practice, with an aim to achieve the EU green targets.

"Our policy is really determined by the European Union policy. In terms of the 2020 targets, the 2030 targets and the longer term 2050 targets, it is how these policies are implemented into practice through regulations and through incentives and that’s where the delay is I think," he said.

He indicated that new policies aren't necessary, the existing policies just need to be used.

Professor Jones also warned that a possible exit from the EU could be a problem for the UK's energy efficiency sector, especially since so much of the country's existing policy is based on European targets.

"If Britain exits from the EU I’m sure that it will affect our energy policy, I think that if we don't have to comply with European directives then we will slip behind. I think we need to be part of the European Union to really push the low carbon agenda forward," he said.