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

TEQs would provide the fair and transparent system we believe is needed to reduce energy demand, and give each person a direct connection to the carbon emissions associated with their lifestyle. It would guarantee that the UK’s targeted carbon reductions are actually achieved while ensuring fair shares of available energy.

Caroline Lucas MP, former leader of the Green Party

Speeches on TEQs from Caroline Lucas MP, John Hemming MP and others:

TEQs, at a glance

1. TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas) is an electronic system for fairly sharing out energy, at the national scale.

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

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

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

4. Every adult is guaranteed an equal free Entitlement of TEQs units each week. Other energy users (Government, industry etc.) can secure their units in bulk at a weekly auction, or simply buy them when needed.

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 free, equal Entitlement of units, you can sell your surplus. If you need more, you can buy them. All buying/selling 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 determined by the national carbon budget.  This is set out for the coming years by the Climate Change Committee, and goes down year-by-year — step-by-step, like a staircase.

9. The Climate Change Committee is independent of the Government, with TEQs finally providing the means for its budgets to actually be achieved. The Government is itself bound by the TEQs system; its role is to support the country in thriving on the available carbon/energy.

10. Since the national TEQs price fluctuates according to national demand, it becomes transparently in everyone’s interest to help each other to reduce their energy demand — encouraging a national sense of common purpose in working together to keep energy available and affordable.



For more detail, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Alternatively, view the presentation below, or take a look at our popular booklet, the All Party Parliamentary report or this peer-reviewed paper.


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

Lord Smith of Finsbury

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

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

Rob Hopkins
Tim Yeo MP

I firmly believe 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

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, co-founder of the Transition Towns movement

Rob Hopkins
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

Large-scale problems do not require large-scale solutions. They require small-scale solutions within a large-scale framework. 
TEQs is the framework we need, to unleash the society-wide collaboration and collective genius that now offers our only hope of a stable climate.

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

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