Wind turbines
The Tories
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
we need:

  • 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
    MtCO2.
  • Consumer-friendly
    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
    micro-generation
    .