Domestic building energy performance – What is needed to ensure the Government delivers?
Blog by Ron Bailey
Imagine our country where no one has to choose between heating and eating; in which large numbers of our older people don’t have to sit huddled in blankets to keep warm in winter; where children don’t have to do their homework in cold conditions which hamper their future development. Currently this situation affects over 4 million homes in the UK or about 6 million people. It’s called fuel poverty and it’s been the scourge of our country for too long.
National Energy Action’s analysis highlights that over the past five years there were 41,000 excess winter deaths ‘directly attributable to vulnerable people inhabiting cold homes’ and that ‘over 125,000 vulnerable people are likely to die needlessly between 2015 and 2030.’
But now – at long last – there’s parliamentary consensus that it must end by 2030. In fact the Government included such a commitment in its Clean Growth Strategy, Labour and the Liberal Democrats made similar commitments.
That’s why the Sustainable Energy Association, in co-operation with Sir David Amess, the MP who got the original Warm Homes Act through Parliament in 2000 (which did much to alleviate fuel poverty), are campaigning to bring all homes up to Energy Performance Band C by 2035.
In addition to enabling those millions of people referred to above to live in decent warm homes, this will save the NHS £1.36 billion per year, excluding social care costs. Indeed, the Chief Medical Officer himself has said that every £1 spent on dealing with cold homes will save the NHS 44p.
Now close your eyes and imagine once more. Imagine a policy that would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 23MtCO2 p.a.; create over 100,000 new jobs; end fuel poverty; help small businesses; reduce the strain on the NHS caused by cold-related illnesses; save lives; increase GDP – and yet not cost tax payers any money. Actually, though you don’t have to imagine it: if enacted the Domestic Buildings (Minimum Energy Performance) Bill would make it a reality. The Bill requires the Government to take all reasonable steps to bring the whole housing stock up to Energy Performance Certificate band C by 2035, and such a programme of works would have the national benefits described above – and more.
The Sustainable Energy Association is working with Sir David Amess and members of parliament to ensure that the Government’s ambition becomes a reality. Please contact us if you would like more information about the campaign or supporting the Bill.
See more information on our Campaign Page