TEQs in summary

John Hemming MP

John Hemming MP

We urgently need to have a system in place to mitigate the economic and social consequences of peak oil. I believe TEQs provide the fairest and most productive way to deal with the oil crisis and to simultaneously guarantee reductions in fossil fuel use to meet climate change targets.

John Hemming MP, Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil

Tim Yeo MP

Tim Yeo MP

Whilst I am less convinced than some people about the imminence of peak oil I firmly believe, regardless of this, that tradable personal carbon allowances could make a big contribution to reducing energy consumption and therefore carbon emissions in Britain. I also believe that it is extremely urgent for Britain, and all developed countries, to move away from a fossil fuel-based economy as quickly as possible.

Tim Yeo MP, Chairman, House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee

Caroline Lucas MP

Caroline Lucas MP

TEQs have long been Green Party policy, as we believe that we need a fair and transparent system to reduce energy demand and give each person a direct connection to the carbon emissions associated with their lifestyle. The TEQs scheme would guarantee that the UK's targeted carbon reductions are actually achieved, while ensuring fair shares of available energy.

Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party

Lord Smith of Finsbury

Lord Smith of Finsbury

Rationing is the fairest and most effective way of meeting Britain's legally binding targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman, Environment Agency

Colin Challen

Colin Challen

A concept of brilliant simplicity, offering a predictable and orderly reduction of greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year, with flexibility in an enclosed system, independent of taxation and providing complete transparency between goals and delivery.

Colin Challen, Founder Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change

Jeremy Leggett

Jeremy Leggett

What I like about TEQs is the fairness of it. When the energy crunch hits us, it will behove government and industry to ensure equitable access to available energy, within a national budget. TEQs is a route to synergistic efforts of the kind we will need if we are to mobilise the infrastructure of a zero-carbon future fast, under pressure. It would increase the chances of working our way through the grim times to renaissance-through-resilience.

Jeremy Leggett, author, and Chairman of Solarcentury - a member company of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil & Energy Security

Jonathon Porritt

Jonathon Porritt

This eloquently presented proposal merits very serious consideration by all political parties. There remains an undeniable gap between the current policy mix and what we actually need to do urgently both to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to avoid the potentially devastating consequences of declining fossil fuels. TEQs offer significant policy advantages in addressing both those pressing imperatives.

Sir Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future

Shaun Chamberlin

Shaun Chamberlin

The Government pre-feasibility study into TEQs in 2008 described the scheme as "ahead of its time", but pledged to consider implementation if further research changed the likely cost or value of carbon savings. This new report demonstrates conclusively that this condition has now been met, drawing on work by the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Centre for Sustainable Energy and the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.

Shaun Chamberlin, author of The Transition Timeline, and Managing Director of The Fleming Policy Centre

Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins

A watertight proposal that deserves to be spread as widely as possible, as it is an idea of its time. Take the time to read and understand this mechanism thoroughly. New situations require fresh thinking.

Rob Hopkins, Founder of the Transition Towns movement

David Fleming

David Fleming

Large-scale problems do not require large-scale solutions. They require small-scale solutions within a large-scale framework.

David Fleming (1940-2010), Inventor of TEQs


1. TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas) is an electronic system for fairly reducing consumption of carbon-intensive energy, at the national scale.

2. There are two main reasons why this may be desirable:

a) providing a method to guarantee achieving national carbon reduction targets.
b) maintaining a fair distribution of fuel and electricity during challenging times.

3. TEQs (pronounced “tex”) are measured in units.

4. Every adult is given an equal free Entitlement of TEQs units each week. Other energy users (Government, industry etc.) bid for their units at a weekly Tender, or auction.

5. When you buy fuel or energy, such as petrol for your car, units corresponding to the amount of energy you have bought are deducted from your TEQs account, in addition to your money payment. This is the only time you need TEQs units, and transactions are generally automatic, using credit-card or direct-debit technology.

6. All fuels and electricity supplies carry a “carbon rating” in units; one unit represents one kilogram of carbon dioxide – or the equivalent in other greenhouse gases – released in the fuel’s production and use. This determines how many units are needed to make a purchase (thus giving a competitive advantage to low-carbon energy).

7. If you use less than your Entitlement of units, you can sell your surplus. If you need more, you can buy them. All trading takes place at a single national price, which rises and falls in line with demand. Buying and selling is as easy as topping up an Oyster card or mobile phone.

8. The total number of units available in the country is set out in advance in the TEQs Budget. The size of the Budget goes down year-by-year – step-by-step, like a staircase.

9. The Budget is set by the Committee on Climate Change, which is independent of the Government. The Government is itself bound by the TEQs scheme; its role is to support the country in thriving on the available carbon/energy.

10. Since the national TEQs price is determined by national demand, it is transparently in everyone’s interest to help each other to reduce their energy demand, and to work together, encouraging a national sense of common purpose.


To find out more, either download a copy of the Parliamentary report, view the presentation below, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions.