A core aim of the Energy Institute (EI) is to support our members in achieving their professional and learning goals. But equally, EI members support us as we work towards improving the energy system. By sharing their knowledge, they help to shape the messages we use to drive progress and engage with policy makers and wider industry. The Energy Barometer survey is one of the most powerful mechanisms through which EI members can provide this vital input.
The 2016 survey, conducted in February, was launched just days before the referendum on UK membership of the EU. The general mood in the country of uncertainty and concern about the future was reflected in many of the survey responses, including important detail about areas of concern for energy professionals. After its launch in Westminster, the report and its findings – particularly those around the potential energy-related impacts of exiting the EU – were picked up by the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian and others. It was recognised as bringing unique insight into the expectations of those working at the heart of the energy industry.
Post-referendum, attention has shifted to the future. The EI has endeavoured to offer an evidence base to policy makers as they set priorities for Brexit negotiations, heat decarbonisation and future industrial strategy. They welcomed this knowledge, which again was gathered through the support and engagement of EI members contributing to this vital input through written evidence, our recent Brexit debate, and presentations to the Parliamentary Group on Energy Studies.
The EI has also collaborated with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Association for Decentralised Energy to provide cross-sector recommendations on industrial strategy and productivity, two high priorities for Theresa May’s government going forward. The EI’s submissions continue to be underpinned by the expert contributions of our members which form the narrative carried across these activities.
During the next, crucial, year for the development of UK energy policy, we will continue our efforts to support Government decision-making with a solid evidence base. To be effective, we will rely on our members’ on-going participation in initiatives such as the Energy Barometer. Collaboration will be increasingly important next year as two new Government departments – DExEU and BEIS – finalise their strategies and begin putting them into action.
Thank you to those who have shared your insights so far. I hope you will continue to support this important work if you are invited to take part in early 2017.
Invitations to join the EI College will be emailed to a limited number of members in early January. Those who accept will be sent the Barometer survey in February. For more information, visit www.energyinst.org/energy-barometer.