The call to make UK homes more energy efficient in an effort to combat fuel poverty comes hot on the heels of new report commissioned by Consumer Focus,
The report – ‘Jobs, growth and warmer homes’ – suggests money raised through carbon taxes and invested in energy efficiency will not only create more jobs, it will also stimulate more economic growth than tax cuts or government investment.
Commenting on the findings The Energy Bill Revolution, the biggest fuel poverty alliance in the UK, is calling for carbon tax revenue to be recycled in this way:
“There is enough carbon tax to end fuel poverty and in time help make every UK home super energy efficient. This report shows that in its bid to boost UK economy, the Government is not investing in the one thing which could create more jobs and growth than anything else – re-building the UK’s housing stock.
“Not only does this have massive economic benefits but it is the most effective way to bring down energy bills. This should form the centre piece of a new Marshall Plan to re-build the UK economy.”
Energy consumers will pay over £2 billion in carbon taxes from next year, rising up to £4 billion a year in carbon taxes by 2020.
Boost to the economy
Consumer Focus’ report revealed that reinvesting carbon taxes could:
- Generate up to 71,000 jobs and boost GDP by 0.2 per cent by 2015,
- Create up to 130,000 jobs by 2027,
- Take up to nine out of ten households out of fuel poverty,
- Reduce energy bills by at least £200 per year.
Fuel poverty to rise
Fuel poverty has become increasing important on the political agenda as the cost of household energy in the UK continues to rise.
Energy prices in the UK have risen for the second year in a row with five of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers increasing the cost of their domestic energy rates by 7% on average, increasing the pressure on households already struggling to heat their homes over winter.
Fuel poverty, when a home has to spend over 10% of its income on heating cost, already inmpacts over six million UK households, with this figure expected to grow to 9.1 million households – more than one in three homes. Energy price hikes are expected to force extra 314,000 households into fuel poverty.
Cutting fuel costs
Reducing energy bills by improving energy-efficiency is the aim of the government’s much-vaulted Green Deal, to be launched next year, but there are several ways households can cut their energy bills before the Green Deal takes effect, as energy expert Ann Robinson explains:
“There are two simple steps that consumers can take to shield themselves from the impact of higher prices – use less energy and pay the lowest possible price for the energy they use.
“There are plenty of low-cost or even free insulation offers that people should be looking to take advantage of. Consumers must also take the bull by the horns and ensure that they are taking advantage of the most competitive deals available.
With over £300 difference between the cheapest and the most expensive tariffs on the market, it is vital that consumers shop around.”
Get involved! Join the Energy Bill Revolution at www.energybillrevolution.org.