Judith Churley from Age UK Kirklees with Jane East
Millions of people in Britain today struggle to heat their homes. Labour has set out radical plans to freeze energy prices until 2017 so that bills can fall but not rise, and fix the energy market for the future, with a tough new regulator to curb rip-off bills.
But one of the main reasons our energy bills are so high is that our homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe – leaking heat from their doors, walls and windows. Two thirds of households have never even had an energy efficiency assessment, so they don’t know how much money they could save. A Labour government will provide half a million personalised home energy reports detailing how households could save money on their energy bills.
As a country we already spend hundreds of millions a pounds a year on energy efficiency, but under the current system too much money is being wasted and not enough help is reaching those that need it most. We need to use this money better to help families improve their homes to make them warmer and cheaper to heat.
A Labour government will upgrade at least 5 million homes over 10 years, saving each household, on average, £273 from their annual energy bills. We will do this by providing energy efficiency home improvements to at least 200,000 low-income households a year to bring them up to Energy Performance Certificate standard ‘C’, offering a million interest-free loans for home improvements to households that are able to help meet the costs, and requiring landlords to get cold and leaky properties up to a decent standard.
We will do this by making smarter use of the money that’s already available. Millions of homes need to be upgraded, and we know this is a long-term task, so we will designate energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority, to recognise its importance to our country’s well-being and prosperity.