Thank you to all those who contacted me about cleaner heating and green homes.
We need greater action from the Government in this area. UK homes contribute around 14% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Our homes are much worse insulated than those in Europe, with 19 million estimated to be below energy performance certificate (EPC) band C. Indeed, emissions from buildings are higher now than in 2015.
Yet despite this, there is, as the Climate Change Committee (CCC) said in its most recent progress report, “a shocking gap” in Government policy when it comes to energy efficiency in homes. It said that while the Government promised significant public spending in 2019 and committed to new policies in 2021, it was yet to deliver on either.
Insulation rates fell by 92% after the Government cut energy efficiency programmes in 2013. If they had continued at their previous rate for the last decade, an estimated nine million households would be paying less on their bills. We have also seen the mishandling and scrapping of the Green Homes Grant and a proposed wait until 2025 for the Government to act further on this issue.
On heat pumps, the Government’s plans also fall far short of what is required. It is providing funding for just 30,000 a year when its own target says we need 600,000 homes per year to be installing heat pumps by 2028.
Families can wait for action on this issue when they are facing a bills crisis now. I therefore support a Warm Homes Plan that would reduce energy demand by insulating the 19 million homes across the country below EPC band C over the next decade.
I have long supported the Opposition’s calls for such action. If the Government had acted on them, we could have insulated two million of the coldest homes by this winter, saving the typical household large amounts every year on their energy bills. This is something that we could start doing right now and I believe it should be a national mission.