Energy news round up: Ofgem to support those hit by increased energy bills in lockdown, and more

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Offgem has announced that it will support pre-pay metre customers struggling to pay their lockdown energy bills, meanwhile a new offshore wind farm has been approved by UK Government. Legal & General homes are to be net zero carbon by 2030, and the REA calls for more funding for CfD auctions. We're bringing you all the latest energy news this week.

Ofgem announces more support for those impacted by lockdown energy price rises 

Energy regulator Ofgem has said it will support consumers who are finding it difficult to pay their energy bills due to soaring gas and electricity prices during the lockdown. Energy suppliers agreed to support vulnerable customers on prepayment meters earlier in the year, however Ofgem now wants suppliers to make some of those emergency protection policies a permanent feature of their business. This would mean that the energy supply for vulnerable customers isn’t simply cut off due to top-up facilities being closed during evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

Energy providers will also have to offer additional credit if consumers need breathing space to work out how to pay their bills. Ofgem is also considering basing repayment rates on a customers ability to pay. 

Legal & General (L&G) has announced that it will seek to make all the homes constructed by its housing business zero carbon by 2030. This, in turn, will help to slash energy bills and help the country meet its 2050 target. 

The proposal covers affordable housing and all other properties including retirement living. L&G intends to install thermal building fabric and environmental control systems utilising low- and zero-carbon technologies. This would also make the properties attractive to investors focusing on sustainability. 

The Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said in its progress report recently that the introduction of a Future Homes Standard for 2025 is long overdue. 

REA report says UK Government should provide more funding for CfD auctions 

A recent report from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has said that the Government needs to provide more funding for Contracts for Difference auctions as part of an overall green stimulus package for the economy. 

The report proposes a set of key policies for a green recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. This would include low-carbon power and heat generation, retro-fitting for energy efficiency, reform of the tax system and funding for local authorities. 

Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm approved by UK Government 

The UK Government has approved the Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm project, to be developed by Vattenfall and consisting of between 90 and 180 offshore wind turbines. 

The 1.8 gigawatt wind farm is expected to be able to generate enough electricity for 1.95 million homes and will support 400 jobs during the construction phase. Secretary of State for Energy, Alok Sharma, has also indicated that he may also approve the Hornsea Three 2.4 GW project to be developed by Orstead off the coast of North Norfolk. 

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Robin Whitlock

Robin is a freelance journalist specialising in renewable energy, environmental issues, climate change and transport. He's written for Renewable Energy Magazine for almost a decade, covering all sub-sectors of the global renewable industry - from onshore and offshore wind, solar PV and solar thermal energy, to biomass, anaerobic digestion (AD), geothermal, energy efficiency and smart technology, electric vehicles and hybrids, and much more.