Energy expert responds to “frustrating” fracking and “welcome” smart meter news

Commenting on Cuadrilla’s decision to permanently abandon fracking sites, Andy Mayer, Energy Analyst at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“The frustrating news that UK fracking sites will be sealed up while UK gas bills rocket is just the latest illustration of the madness of Net Zero.  


“While the news that the government has restarted North Sea development this week was welcome, the lack of action onshore is inconsistent.


“Most of the arguments against fracking are excuses for political cowardice, nimbyism and expensive ‘leave it in the ground’ posturing.


“The 2019 Conservative Manifesto said the Party would review the ban purely on safety grounds. Its delay has allowed this closure to go ahead.


“It’s time to stop posing and start drilling.”

Responding to the announcement that smart meters will be adapted to allow surge pricing, Andy said:

“Cheaper bills from smarter meters, enabling energy prices to be more closely aligned to supply and demand, would be extremely welcome.


“Such innovation would happen faster if the government got out of the way.  


“The regulatory design of the UK’s smart meter programme with standards ‘designated by the Secretary of State’ and national roll-out targets, has reduced the ability of suppliers to experiment, and customers to vote with their wallets.


“The energy price cap has made this worse, effectively becoming a target for prices, rather than a ceiling over an otherwise competitive market.


“Radical deregulation of meter standards and scrapping of the cap would solve both issues, allowing a vibrant market for smarter, cheaper and greener choices to emerge more quickly.”

ENDSNotes to editorsContact: Annabel Denham, Director of Communications, 07540 770 774

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.