The Labour party has criticized the Conservatives for the slow progress in upgrading the UK’s energy-inefficient homes. According to their analysis, a major household energy efficiency program is moving at an extremely slow rate, which they describe as “glacial”.
According to data released by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), only 65,000 households have been improved as part of the government’s Energy Company Obligation (Eco) program since its restart in April of last year.
According to Labour, this number is significantly lower than the 1.5 million lofts and cavity walls that were being insulated every year before they lost control in 2010.
MPs and campaigners have repeatedly urged the government to accelerate the improvement of homes, against the backdrop of the energy and climate crises. Household gas and electricity bills began to soar in late 2021 and the price rises were exacerbated by a spike in wholesale gas costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The announcement made by Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho this week regarding legislation for annual licensing rounds for new North Sea projects has caused frustration among MPs. She stated that the production of oil and gas may not result in lower energy bills.
Alan Whitehead, the opposition spokesperson for energy security, of the Labour party, stated that the government’s admission was shocking. He pointed out that during a time of significant energy bill concerns, the government’s key energy policy outlined in the king’s speech will not provide any relief to consumers.
Currently, it has been discovered that the Conservatives are not making any significant efforts to improve the state of homes in Britain, even though increasing energy efficiency is a highly effective method for reducing long-term costs.
The Conservative party is disconnected from the reality of British families, as they have stopped making efforts to lower energy costs.
The Labour Party has promised to create a “warm homes plan” that would empower devolved administrations to improve the energy performance of all homes in their jurisdiction to at least an EPC standard C within ten years.
The Eco program was initially introduced in 2013 to decrease household energy costs by enhancing household insulation. Within the first four years of the program, nearly 1.7 million homes underwent upgrades.
The program was reintroduced in the previous year, providing assistance for households to transition to more environmentally-friendly heating choices, as well as offering new boilers and insulation for cavity walls and lofts.
In March, a new program called Great British Insulation was created to assist approximately 300,000 households in the UK in covering the expenses of installing home insulation. This initiative is expected to save consumers an average of £300 to £400 per year on their energy bills.
Critics have pointed out that the plan to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s poorly insulated homes would take 190 years to complete, and 300 years to reach the government’s goal of reducing fuel poverty.
The DESNZ has been asked for a response.