Why was energy efficiency missing from the Budget?

 In Energy Saving, Home Insulation, News

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s budget statement last Wednesday was very disappointing as there was little about green energy and nothing about energy efficiency, said Midlands expert Ron Fox.

“Unlike the US and the EU which have committed billions to moving away from the old energy of fossil fuels to new environmentally friendly sources, Jeremy Hunt began his autumn statement about the new oil and gas licences the government had granted recently,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd which is based at Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park.

He said there was also no mention of incentives to increase insulation in homes, despite the fact that energy bills are a huge concern for millions of people, and that energy efficiency is seen as one of the most vital ways to help reduce carbon emissions.

This point was further brought home when a day later energy regulator Ofgem said household energy bills would rise in January by 5 per cent, with the typical annual household bill going up from £1,834 to £1,928. But analysts have predicted the prices will fall back in March.

This also follows a recent decision by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak which no longer required homeowners and landlords to upgrade homes to an energy performance certificate (EPC) grade C by 2035.

While it means landlords will not have to fork out cash immediately, it could leave their renters facing higher costs to heat poorly insulated properties.

“One idea I did support,” said Ron, “was to call for a stamp duty rebate for those who invest in upgrading their homes.”

But he said there was good news for households living near new power cables – they will be offered electricity bill discounts of up to £10,000 over ten years.

The plans are part of moves to speed up the building of electricity networks needed to connect new wind and solar farms and other power plants to cut grid access delays by 90 per cent.

However, he added that there would be a welcome £960 million invested by 2030 for a new “green industries growth accelerator programme.”

But Ron pointed out this funding wouldn’t come online until 2025 and the amount was very small compared to the US, the EU and China.

In reply Labour has promised to invest £28m a year in the green economy, and freeze annual energy bills with a windfall tax. But shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves hardly mentioned the climate and the rising world temperatures in her response to the autumn statement.

Ron concluded: “The budget was mostly about short-term fixes rather than addressing the serious environmental challenges the world faces and helping the UK to reach net zero.”

For more advice on green energy, cutting energy bills and insulating homes contact Ron Fox on 01782 756995.


Caption: Missed opportunity – insulation was not mentioned in last week’s budget.

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