A fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA), is calling on the UK government to make the energy efficiency of UK homes a “national infrastructure priority”.
The charity is one of several organisations which are urging the government to take action following recent recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The report states that the UK should reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but without a thorough and quick overhaul of the current strategy to cut carbon emissions in new build and existing homes, this target will not be met.
The CCC’s report highlighted the urgent need for affordable low-carbon heating technologies and more effective and sustainable insulation materials. These measures which would ensure lower income homes are not prevented from being able to lower their carbon footprint and reduce their heating bills.
The report also criticised the government’s lack of strategy as there are currently no firm plans as to how carbon reduction targets will be met. The CCC’s report also strongly indicated that efforts to enforce stricter carbon reduction targets and to end fuel poverty in the UK could work side by side.
Nationwide adoption of renewable low-carbon heating will only become a reality when energy efficiency standards are significantly improved in all UK homes. The government needs to address this via a comprehensive strategy which ensures homes can be efficiently and effectively heated with renewable energy. The NEA is particularly concerned that the government has not done enough to ensure low-carbon heating systems will be viable and affordable for fuel poor and low income households.
Adam Scorer, chief executive with the charity, said:
“There is now a huge opportunity for the UK government, devolved nations, industry and campaigners to demonstrate how the most vulnerable people in our society can be the first to benefit from this necessary transition.”
An official statement from the NEA stated:
“Without more ambitious action, the CCC has said in England, 160,000 fuel-poor households could still be living in the least efficient homes by 2020 and the CCC warns an additional 2.4 million households could be pushed into fuel poverty across the UK by 2030.”
“NEA and a wide range of organisations are therefore urging the UK government to make domestic energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority and introduce a comprehensive domestic energy efficiency programme to ensure statutory fuel poverty and carbon targets are met.”