With millions of homes leaking cash every winter, we’re calling on the next Government to radically re-think its energy efficiency strategy. What would convince you to make your home more energy efficient?
I try to be eco-friendly (I walk or get public transport everywhere, always buy the green option, and can’t remember the last time I picked up a plastic bag at the supermarket) and would be really keen to make my home as energy efficient as possible. As a long-term renter, though, there don’t seem to be any attractive options available to help me sort out my home.
Our latest report, A Local Approach to Energy Efficiency [PDF], looks at the widespread effect this has across the country. You may not know it, but UK homes are among the least energy efficient in Europe. And poor energy efficiency isn’t just bad for your wallet – it’s also bad for your health and the environment.
Energy efficient homes
Up to 5.4 million homes still don’t have their cavity walls filled, which can save you up to £140 a year on your energy bills. And then more than 7 million homes still need their lofts fully lagged. It’s also estimated that the NHS spends £1.36bn each year treating illnesses caused and exacerbated by cold homes.
Successive governments have failed to do enough to tackle the problem, and we’re calling for the next Government to crack on and give us an energy efficiency record to be proud of.
Action from the next Government
Having spent some time working for a local charity for older people on fuel poverty, I’ve seen how brilliant local agencies can be at getting help to those who need it the most.
We want the new Government to switch to a long-term local approach, where local authorities lead the roll-out of energy saving measures through local partnerships involving housing associations and even GPs. These partnerships will be better at ensuring that support gets to those who need it the most, at getting people interested in schemes and obtaining their trust. A street by street approach can also result in economies of scale, which is important when resource is scarce.
We’re also recommending better cost control to deliver value for money, more joined-up government working, and long-term planning to help bring down prices on bills. We also think there needs to be an overhaul of the Green Deal, after just 9,600 plans have been taken out since the scheme launched.
Have you ever had energy efficiency measures installed? If so, what convinced you to do it? If not, what could the next government do to help?