In order to meet our climate change targets and transition to a low-carbon future we must ensure that our homes are as energy efficient as possible. In fact, our homes account for 20 per cent of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite this, the government has cut support for energy efficiency measures, with further cuts announced, and it is currently on course to miss by 80 years its target of ensuring that as many fuel-poor households as reasonably practicable achieve a minimum efficiency rating of band C by 2030. Current policies are not enough to meet future climate targets, not least because progress on reducing the emissions of UK homes has slowed in recent years.
Energy efficiency is the most effective way of lifting people out of fuel poverty. You can read more about what I said on this topic here and here when I was previously shadow minister for Energy and Climate Change. The last Labour government introduced the Warm Front scheme in 2000, which provided government-funded grants for heating and insulation improvements to over 2.3 million households.
At the recent General Election, I stood on a manifesto that committed to insulating four million homes as an infrastructure priority. This would not only cut emissions, but also improve health, save on bills, and reduce fuel poverty and winter deaths. The manifesto also promised to offer homeowners interest-free loans to improve the energy efficiency of their property. It further pledged to improve on existing landlord energy efficiency regulations and re-establish the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance to encourage the uptake of efficiency measures.
I will continue to press the government for a UK emissions reduction plan that includes strong measures on home energy efficiency.