Wera Hobhouse MP: A national home insulation programme is vital to bringing down energy bills

Improving the energy efficiency of our homes brings down bills as people use less energy to heat their homes. It seems obvious, but the Conservatives don’t seem to recognise the urgency of this.

A photo of coins on top of an article explaining that Energy companies are raising prices

Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrats’ Climate Change, Women and Equalities Spokesperson and MP for Bath 

We need a clear, national action plan to bring down people’s energy bills through a home insulation programme. This can be achieved through a ten-year insulation programme, and a clear programme to ensure that the workforce has the skills necessary to meet these demands.

Although insulation is not the sexiest of topics, it has a vital part to play in reducing the pressure of the cost of living crisis. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes brings down bills as people use less energy to heat their homes. It seems obvious, but the Conservatives don’t seem to recognise the urgency of this.

The Conservatives’ shameful record on home insulation and energy efficiency is costing people money and impacting the UK’s energy security. Home energy efficiency measures have fallen off a cliff under the Conservatives and a rescue mission is needed.

The recent Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) report is a stark warning for the Tories and their failure to grasp the importance of the climate crisis. The committee found that Government plans for tackling global warming will not deliver on legal targets to cut emissions and made clear the massive failures to better insulate peoples homes in the face of soaring energy bills. This is a shocking indictment of the Tories’ abysmal environmental record.

The report singled out energy efficiency which would make UK homes less leaky and much cheaper to heat as one area in particular that the Government is failing to tackle. Not only would an efficiency drive tackle the climate emergency, but it would also bring down people’s energy bills in the long-run.

It’s obvious that the UK needs to turbocharge home insulation and energy efficiency measures but this needs the right political leadership.

The Tories have failed to invest in insulating homes. This short-sighted penny-pinching does nothing but drive up people’s bills over time. Still today, 13 million homes across the country have poor energy efficiency ratings. These households are forced to pay around £687 more a year than those with a Band C rating.

Let’s be honest, the UK is languishing behind Europe when it comes to improving energy efficiency. We are behind the rest of Europe with 80% of mid-to-low income households living in inefficient homes with no access to nationwide subsidy support, according to a recent report from the campaign group Electrify Heat.

I am embarrassed by this. The Conservatives’ failure to tackle our cold and leaky homes has piled misery onto people’s lives during the cost of living crisis.

Helping households insulate their homes would lead to reduced heat loss and energy demand making the UK less dependent on gas and volatile international gas markets.

The Government recently agreed to divert money from existing schemes to focus on insulating poorer households that are being hammered by soaring gas bills.

We need a proper, well funded insulation programme that will minimise the amount of energy that our homes waste and reduce household bills. This must be accompanied by adequate training to ensure that we have the workforce to meet the demand. The mistakes of the ‘Green Homes Grant’ must not be repeated.

To help bring down people’s bills, the Conservatives must look closer to home. Kick-starting a home insulation national action plan will bring down households’ energy bills by reducing the amount of energy that we use to heat our homes. The solution to this urgent problem is staring the Government in the face. Let’s see if we have the right political leadership to take action.

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