Tories commit to home efficiency plan
The Conservative Party has reiterated its promise to introduce a Green Deal entitling every household in Britain to £6,500 of energy efficiency improvements.
In a policy paper on energy published today, Rebuilding Security, the Conservatives say householders would be offered an independent assessment of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Larger amounts would be available for ‘hard-to-treat’ homes.
These improvements would then be carried out immediately, and paid for through the long-term savings in energy bills.
The party wants to involve a range of partners in financing the scheme, including banks, investment funds, housing associations, and charities as well as energy suppliers.
The paper states: ‘Two-thirds of the gas Britain uses – and imports – is used for heating. Yet, much of it is wasted because so much of our housing stock, commercial property and public sector estate is poorly insulated.
‘As a nation we will be living and working in these buildings for decades to come, so, as well improving standards for new construction, we need to address the main challenge, which is to retrofit the homes and workplaces we already have.
‘The good news is that much investment in energy efficiency can pay for itself through the savings it generates in energy consumption. Given the cost of supplying wasted energy is almost always higher, it simply makes no sense not to be investing more in efficiency.’
The paper also commits a Conservative government to ensure ‘most’ homes and businesses are fitted with smart meters by 2016, to increase awareness of energy use and the ability to manage consumption. The current government aim is to achieve this by the end of 2020.
Zoe Leader, sustainable homes policy officer at WWF-UK said: ‘It is encouraging that the Conservatives are recognising the big wins that can be gained from retrofitting our existing homes. As always the details behind these headlines will be important.’