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HPA chief: Brexit not expected to dampen UK cooling efficiency aims

Mike Nankivell expects cooling industry innovation to continue, even with uncertainty over status of UK regulations outside of the EU

Despite uncertainty over Brexit’s impact on EU energy efficiency directives in the UK, cooling industry efforts to curb energy consumption and carbon emissions are expected to remain an ongoing priority, Heat Pump Association (HPA) president Mike Nankivell has argued.

Mr Nankivell said that refrigeration, heating and ventilation technology providers had made “very significant” advances in operational and energy efficiency in recent years, a process driven largely by EU regulation.

However, he said this work was not anticipated to be set back by the UK’s decision to exit the bloc.

Mr Nankivell added that among the core challenges facing the UK cooling industry, ensuring the ongoing “necessary transition” away from high global warming refrigerants was a key consideration.

“We have to ensure that the advances already made in energy efficiency are not undermined by new industry standards and developments to enable the use of low GWP refrigerants,” he added.

Mr Nankivell said he welcomed the announcement of a new independent review for affordable energy announced this month by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as a means to tackle challenges.

He said that although the HPA has not been approached directly for input, it would nonetheless look forward to contributing to the review and a wider government approach to ensure more affordable energy plans for businesses and homes.

The review process is expected to be led by Professor Dieter Helm, who will aim to consider cost factors in line with ensuring the UK can better meet domestic and international climate targets.

Professor Helm Said, “The cost of energy always matters to households and companies, and especially now in these exceptional times, with huge investment requirements to meet the decarbonisation and security challenges ahead over the next decade and beyond.

“Digitalisation, electric transport and smart and decentralised systems offer great opportunities. It is imperative to do all this efficiently, to minimise the burdens. Making people and companies pay excessively for policy and market inefficiencies risks undermining the objectives themselves.”

According to BEIS, the review is intended to take a wholesale approach of electricity use in order to set out recommendations on curbing energy costs over the next few decades. It will also follow efforts announced by Ofgem and the government in July to introduce smart energy systems and technology.

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