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Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen press release

YouGen urges government to strenghten policies that improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock, not water them down

Posted on 3 December 2013 at 12:21 pm

YouGen is calling for a stronger commitment to increasing the energy efficiency of the UK's housing stock, and for government to strengthen rather than water down it's policies.

In response to the press release government action to help hardworking people with energy bills YouGen founder Cathy Debenham says:

"The UK has the oldest, draughtiest, coldest housing stock in Europe. The reason it's expensive to heat is that a lot of heat leaks out and is wasted. The only effective way of bringing down energy bills in the long term is to reduce the need for heat. Cutting green levies is short term political expediency trumping the long term benefit for many.

"The proposed £12 rebate on domestic electricity bills for two years appears to be a flagrant bit of politicking in the run up to the 2015 election.

"While we are pleased to see that the elements of the Energy Companies Obligation aimed at low income and vulnerable households have been maintained, it is disappointing that the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (ECO) is being reduced. This offers help for people living in homes with solid walls or hard-to-treat cavities. They often have the coldest and most expensive to heat homes, and very few people will be able to insulate without financial help.

"People are already finding it very difficult to get ECO for solid wall insulation, and we believe that help needs to be strengthened, rather than reduced. Just as the feed-in tariff has helped the solar industry to develop and grow - with more people installing solar panels and massive price reductions as a result - we believe that the solid wall industry needs similar support to grow. This should encourage innovation and economies of scale so that it eventually becomes affordable without subsidy.

"We also think it's a mistake to allow the energy suppliers to insulate easy-to-treat cavity walls and lofts as part of their ECO targets. They are already only focusing on the easiest and cheapes measures. There is already help for householders to install these measures under the Green Deal, so it makes most sense if the ECO money is spent on the more difficult measures."

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