Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Research finds 'shocking' crash in energy measures

The Treasury has been criticised for failing on energy efficiency, after new research revealed a “truly shocking” crash in the number of home energy efficiency installations.

New research, unveiled this afternoon by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), shows the number of measures installed in homes has fallen 80% since 2012.

It also found the number of households helped with installations has fallen by 76% and investment in home energy efficiency has fallen by 50%.

It comes ahead of a broadcast tonight of a BBC Panorama investigation into the government’s failure to end fuel poverty by 2016, a target set in 2000.

Several energy programmes have been the victim of government cuts, as part of a drive to reduce levies on energy companies.

The Green Deal, which was branded a “revolution” in upgrading old and draughty homes when it was launched in 2013, was scrapped last June.

It had offered home owners loans, repaid through lower fuel bills, to insulate their homes.

The ACE report found the annual number of major energy efficiency measures installed in homes has declined from 1.74m to 340,000 between the height of delivery in 2012 and 2015.

It found the number of households helped fell 1.34m to 320,000 over the same period, with the total level of investment has declined by 53% from £1.5bn to £0.7bn.

Jenny Holland, Head of Campaigns at the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said:  “These research findings are truly shocking. The UK has some of the worst housing stock in Europe, with levels of fuel poverty unheard of in much colder countries like Sweden.  

“But Treasury help to upgrade our freezing homes has been slashed to the bone. The government has pledged to make all fuel-poor homes energy efficient by 2030, but without new funding, it will take them 94 years to meet their pledge.”

UPDATE: At 09.21am on 22.3.2016

A government spokesperson said: “This government is serious about making vulnerable people’s homes warmer and keeping energy bills low. That is why we are increasing support for those who need it most – the fuel poor and vulnerable – whilst reducing the impact on people’s energy bills by cutting support for those able to pay.”

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