Government accused of missing opportunity to prioritise energy efficiency measures

The government has missed a prime opportunity to improve the nation’s energy efficiency as a way of reducing energy bills, says the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

The organisation spoke out as further details of the Energy Bills Support Scheme came to light on Friday, with households set to get non-refundable discounts worth £400 off their bills.

Ministers hope the scheme will keep households afloat as it’s been forecast Ofgem’s price cap could rise by 78% to £3,500 next year.

But the CIEH say this isn’t enough to help households manage energy bills and suggests investment into energy efficiency could drastically reduce bills and limit CO2 levels.

black roof under white clouds

Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the CIEH, said: ‘While the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme provides welcome financial support to households during a time of spiralling energy bills, it simply does not go far enough.

‘While this scheme will provide short-term relief for households struggling with their energy bills, it is undermined by the lack of funding dedicated towards energy efficiency in homes. This is a missed opportunity to not rapidly accelerate the installation of energy efficiency measures in homes to prepare for the Winter months.

‘The UK urgently needs a long-term investment strategy into energy efficiency measures for homes. This should include grants, zero interest loans, and other incentives for households, across all tenures to reduce their energy demand and thus help the country achieve better energy security.’

An estimated 2.5 million households with children have fallen into fuel poverty since 1 April this year due to rapidly increasing energy prices.

The CIEH are now calling on government to prioritise energy efficiency measures to help households cope with the spiralling cost of living crisis and to help the UK meet carbon emissions targets.

Recent polling shows that these measures would have high public approval, as voters overwhelmingly support more investment in renewable energy as a way to tackle soaring energy bills.

The government recently announced it would be investing £54m into low-carbon heat networks in London, Bedfordshire and Woking to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels.

Photo by Nadine Marfurt


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