Radically improving the fabric of UK homes is by far the most cost effective long-term solution for our high energy bills, according to a national coalition of charities calling for measures to ameliorate fuel poverty.
The Energy Bill Revolution campaign – which brings together Age UK, Barnardo’s and another 150 national organisations – is urging the UK government to take greater action to ‘effectively and sustainably’ tackle the problem of fuel poverty that damages the wellbeing of so many people in the UK, ‘among them the millions of children, families and older people whom our organisations represent.’
In an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, LibDem leader Nick Clegg and Labour party leader Ed Miliband, the leaders of the Energy Bill Revolution said: “Despite existing investment, many UK homes are still hugely inefficient, leaky and damp and in the future will still fall far short of the standards in comparable European countries.
“As a result we are wasting a huge amount of energy so while our energy prices may be competitive when compared to our neighbours in Europe, our energy bills are not. As a consequence we rank a dismal 26th out of 27 European countries for fuel poverty. “
The letter – signed by Caroline Abrahams ( Charity Director, Age-UK), Jenny Saunders (Chief Executive, National Energy Action) and Puja Darbari (Director of Strategy, Barnardo’s) adds:
“Investment in upgrading UK homes is not only the best way to end fuel poverty, it helps to reduce bills, create jobs and liberate household income to stimulate growth. Furthermore, it also cuts the cost of cold-related illness to the NHS and it is the least expensive way of reducing carbon emissions.
“This is why the alliance of organisations behind the Energy Bill Revolution campaign is calling for a huge expansion of UK home energy efficiency improvements. We believe this expansion could best be paid for by recycling carbon revenues from the Carbon Support Price and European Emissions Trading Scheme back into a home energy efficiency scheme, which would reduce the cost energy consumers pay towards the Energy Company Obligation and fund a programme that is 5 times bigger, making half a million homes ‘super energy efficient’ every year.
“So we urge you to ensure that the current debate on high energy costs genuinely advances a cost effective, long term solution to fuel poverty and spiralling bills”.