An open letter from leading peers calling for cross party support in making home energy efficiency an infrastructure spending priority has been published in The Times.
The five peers to have signed their names to the letter represent all three top parties, as well as a crossbencher and a bishop, and say that far more investment in insulating homes is needed to tackle fuel poverty and climate change.
The letter, which was published on April 2, claims:
“Investment in energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to cut carbon emissions. It also provides a long-term solution to fuel poverty. To fulfil this enormous potential, investment in energy efficiency must increase significantly in homes as well as in commercial, industrial and public buildings. This can be achieved in a way which will support the recovery of the UK economy.
“The solution is to make energy efficiency a UK infrastructure priority.”
The peers – Lord Bishop of St Albans, Lord Deben (Conservative), Lord Teverson (Liberal Democrat), Lord Whitty (Labour) and Lord Stern (Crossbench) – point out that the next Government will spend billions on infrastructure and some of these public funds should be spent on making the UK’s buildings more energy efficient.
They conclude that the wide range of potential benefits to boosting energy efficiency – reduced energy bills, meeting carbon emission targets, tackling fuel poverty and more – represents an
“opportunity we cannot afford to miss.”
The letter follows a long campaign by the Energy Bill Revolution to encourage the Government to adopt a much more ambitious home energy efficiency programme to make all UK homes super energy efficient, prioritising the homes of the fuel poor. The campaign currently has support from 255 members of Parliament and a reported 50,000 strong petition calling for this commitment from treasury team leaders.
Ed Matthew, director of the Energy Bill Revolution, said:
“As the election approaches, this letter shows that some issues should stand above the fray of party politics. It is a call for all parties to be united behind a bold solution to invest in making the UK’s buildings fit for the 21st century to end the scandal of fuel poverty once and for all. These peers are to be commended for their leadership and inspiration on this vital issue and we deeply welcome their support.”
Ed Davey, the current secretary of state for energy and climate change, recently unveiled the Liberal Democrats’ pledge to deliver
“a green homes revolution“ which would include the reclassification of energy efficiency policy as infrastructure. Mr. Davey said this would
“end once and for all the institutional bias” that he believes energy efficiency investment suffers from.