have put forward excellent proposals for a Green UK economy which include
grants for making homes more efficient, renewable energy, and smart meters in
every home in the UK. See the recent Guardian article about the plan, in which I’m quoted.
The Conservative’s plans are
absolutely spot-on. Energy efficiency is by far the most cost effective way to
reduce carbon emissions and save people cash. Times are tough, if householders
install straightforward measures like insulation they can save £340 a year
every year off their energy bill.
If we throw everything at our
existing housing stock we can reduce household carbon emissions by 70 per cent.
We have made a start; there are initiatives in place to help people pay towards
the costs of installing energy efficiency measures like the Carbon Emissions
Reduction Target. But there are still 7.3 million cavity walls that could be
filled with insulation and 12.9 million lofts which do not have the recommended
depth of insulation. We need to do more and quickly.
To make the Conservative’s polices work
- Independent and impartial advice
that is tailored to individuals. Every home and family lifestyle is unique.
- Investment in new technologies for
hard-to-treat homes (homes with solid walls or off the gas network).
- Policies to encourage people to
improve the efficiency of their homes like Energy Performance Certificates, for
example. Landlords and householders must
act on the advice they have been given to improve the efficiency of their home
before they rent or sell.
- Investment in micro-generation
technologies. With the right policies in place, up to 10 million
micro-generation units – solar thermal, PV, heat pumps, wind, micro CHP and
some biomass – can be installed by 2020, saving up to 10 MtCO2.
- Rollout of smart meters because
Energy Saving Trust research shows that eight out of 10 householders do not
understand their energy bill. Trials show that smart meters encourage people to
save at least 5 per cent of their energy use: in the UK that would mean around 7.4
feed-in-tariffs (easy to understand and sign up to with a rate that is an
incentive for householders). Our research shows
that if people knew that they would get a fair pay-back for the extra energy
they produce for the grid then they would be more likely to want to install