Sat, 10 Jun 2023

UK focus on home insulation seeks to save billions

Robert Besser
15 Jan 2022, 15:56 GMT+10

LONDON, England: According to the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG), made up of business organizations and charities, improved insulation could save UK households more than £500 per year on energy bills.

The EEIG is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prioritize energy savings through home improvements, which could save the country some £7.8 billion per year, according to officials.

Households have seen energy bills rise in recent months and further increases are scheduled for April when the energy price cap will be raised to account for higher wholesale gas prices, putting greater pressure on the UK government to assist those affected.

But the EEIG says the current and previous administrations are partly to blame, as they failed to ensure that British homes have adequate insulation.

"The cost-of-living crisis is being driven by soaring gas prices. A permanent solution to lower bills is by reducing demand through energy efficiency measures," said EEIG chairwoman Sarah Kostense-Winterton, as quoted by the BBC.

"Emergency short-term measures for the most vulnerable households are crucial, but it is fundamental for the government to simultaneously focus on the long term to avoid futures crises," she added.

Rishi Sunak, UK Chancellor, was urged by backbench MPs to use the previous autumn's budget to introduce a multi-year energy efficiency program, but he declined to do so.

In his earlier political manifesto, Johnson promised £9 billion to fund energy efficiency up to 2030, so far allocating some £6 billion, but the EEIG stressed that money not allocated amounts to a broken promise.

The EEIG is also calling for a new £3.6 billion grant or subsidy scheme to help all households, including private owners, to insulate their homes, which was backed by MPs who are members of the Conservative Environment Network.

A government spokesman said it had already made considerable progress in upgrading the energy efficiency of England's homes, from 9 percent rated grade C in 2008, to 40 percent today.

All new heating systems installed in UK homes from 2035 will be low-carbon technologies, such as heat pumps or hydrogen-ready boilers, he added.

"Improving energy efficiency is the best long term solution to tackling fuel poverty, which is why we are supporting households across the UK to improve their energy performance and reduce bills," the spokesman added.

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