The Labour Party has criticized the Conservative Party for the slow progress in upgrading the drafty housing stock in Britain. An analysis has revealed that a major household energy efficiency program is moving at a very slow speed, which the Labour Party has described as “glacial”.
Only 65,000 households have received upgrades through the Eco scheme, as per the statistics released by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). The scheme was relaunched in April of last year.
Labour stated that this number was significantly different from the 1.5 million lofts and cavity walls that were insulated every year before they lost power in 2010.
Politicians and advocates have consistently called on the government to speed up the process of enhancing homes, given the current energy and climate emergencies. Starting in late 2021, household gas and electricity bills skyrocketed and were made worse by a surge in wholesale gas expenses following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Claire Coutinho, the energy secretary, angered MPs this week when she said that new oil and gas production “wouldn’t necessarily bring energy bills down” in announcing legislation to allow annual licensing rounds for new North Sea projects.
Alan Whitehead, the energy security minister for Labour, stated that it was a significant acknowledgement from the government that their primary energy policy outlined in the king’s speech will not provide any relief for the current energy bill crisis, which is said to be the worst in many years.
Currently, it appears that the Conservative party is not taking effective steps to improve the quality of homes in Britain, even though making them more energy efficient is a highly effective way to permanently reduce costs.
“The Conservative party is disconnected from the needs of British families, as evidenced by their lack of effort in reducing energy costs.”
The Labour party has promised to create a “warm homes plan” that will empower and provide resources to devolved administrations to upgrade every home in their jurisdiction to at least an EPC standard C within ten years.
In 2013, the Eco program was introduced with the goal of reducing household energy costs through better insulation. Over the first four years, approximately 1.7 million homes were upgraded under the program.
Last year, the program was restarted, providing assistance to households in transitioning to more environmentally-friendly heating options, as well as installing new boilers and insulating cavity walls and lofts.
In March, a new program called Great British Insulation was introduced to assist approximately 300,000 households in the UK with the expenses of installing home insulation. This initiative aims to save consumers around £300 to £400 annually on their energy bills.
Unfortunately, detractors have pointed out that it would require 190 years to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s poorly insulated housing, and 300 years to fulfill the government’s goals of decreasing fuel poverty.
The DESNZ has been asked to provide a statement.