NatWest boss to steer Government plans to cut UK energy consumption

The Government has charged a new taskforce, chaired by the boss of NatWest, with working out how to significantly cut UK energy consumption over the next seven years.

The Treasury said that NatWest chief executive Dame Alison Rose will be the co-chair of a new body designed to lead efforts to cut energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030.

Dame Alison, who will chair the Energy Efficiency Taskforce alongside energy minister Lord Callanan, was hailed as an “excellent” choice by the Government.

The top banking official announced earlier this month plans for NatWest to reduce lending to oil and gas firms as part of a new climate change initiative.

NatWest Group’s profits surged by more than one-third to reach £5.1 billion last year, and Dame Alison herself received a pay packet totalling £5.25 million.

“Addressing the climate crisis is a team sport, and building vital partnerships between the public and private sector is the key to tackling this challenge at pace,” she said.

“Improving energy efficiency will not only drive a lower carbon environment, but also deliver greater economic security through lower bills for people, families, and businesses right across the UK.”

The Treasury said that £6 billion of government funding would be available from 2025 to support the plan to cut energy demand, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt set to speak to representatives from green firms on Tuesday about plans to boost growth in the sector.

“Our green industry is a key growth sector set to be worth £1 trillion by the end of the decade,” Mr Hunt said.

“It will bring high-paid jobs, brand new manufacturers and huge export opportunities – but needs extra attention now to make sure British companies and our people can fully share in the sector’s success and grow the economy.”

Energy security and net zero secretary Grant Shapps said that the new taskforce “will be committed to clearing the barriers to getting this done, whether that’s investment, training up installers or improving the supply of products”.