£8.4bn – that’s the estimate of how much we’ve spent on successive government’s energy efficiency policies. And yet the majority of Britain’s homes still don’t have adequate insulation. It’s time something was done.
It’s when the weather turns chilly, like it has over the last week or so, that you really begin to feel the odd draught in your house. But sometimes it’s more than the odd draught. Some homes are really poorly insulated, costing thousands of pounds a year to heat without ever actually feeling warm and cosy.
Our latest report reveals that, by 2015, consumers’ will have spent around £8.4bn on schemes designed to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. And yet successive governments have failed to comprehensively address the problem.
To say these schemes have been completely ineffective would be unfair. The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) has seen hundreds of thousands of loft and cavity wall insulation installations, for example. However, despite all that effort and money, there are still 14 million homes without adequate insulation. That’s more than half of Britain’s homes.
We need a radical overhaul
You’ll often hear politicians claim we have the lowest electricity prices in Europe. Even if that’s true, our energy bills have been on the up and up in recent years and this is partly because of how energy inefficient our homes are compared to our European neighbours.
And with four in 10 people saying they can’t cut back on their energy usage any more than they already have, making homes more energy efficient has a crucial part to play.
Saving energy to save money is a bit of a no-brainer. Loft and cavity wall insulation are simple and effective ways to cut energy bills. And yet no government has really got to grips with how the money taken off our bills to pay for these measures is best spent. There’s little or no scrutiny of where much of this money goes – that has to change. It’s time for a radical overhaul of how energy efficiency policies are delivered by the Government.
Cut them down, George
This is why we’re calling on the Chancellor George Osborne to use his Autumn Statement to take action, by cutting the cost of Government energy policies down to size. For example, we want the Chancellor to reform the Energy Company Obligation so that it’s spent on more cost-effective measures, saving between £242m and £363m a year. We also want to see the Government put in place firm insulation targets, concentrating on low-cost loft and cavity wall insulation.
Six in 10 people say it would make a big difference to their standard of living if George Osborne cut their energy bills in his Autumn Statement. But we only have days to convince him – you can help by emailing your MP to increase the pressure. And tell us – do you think it’s important that the money taken from our energy bills is spent sensible and fairly?