Public Investment in warm homes in England cut by 58% since 2012.

As the snow and freezing temperatures hit the UK last week,  a rather damming report on England’s attempt at making people homes warmer has been published. e3g an energy think tank highlights that not only is England Government spending 58% less on making homes warmer, but that it has the second worst record on cold weather related deaths out of 30 European Countries.

Last year saw an average of 32,000 excess winter deaths in the UK, with 9,700 estimated to be linked to living in cold homes.

It also states that the rate of home insulation across the UK has crashed by 90% since 2012, with by far the steepest fall in England.

So what has happened;

  • David Cameron famously called for a cut in all ‘green cr*p’ in an effort to reduce peoples fuel bills, thus leading to all policies being scrapped or hugely reduced (RHI,FiTS, Green Deal etc)
  • The Government halved the UK ‘Energy Company Obligation requirement on power companies, which delivered energy efficiency improvements to homes.

Pedro Guetler from e3g states in the report:

"This is now widely considered by experts as a massive mistake. The saving on energy bills from David Cameron's cuts were soon cancelled out by energy price increases, while the energy efficiency programme was cut back to the bone. Today's average annual household energy bill is £500 lower as a result of the UK's energy efficiency programmes since 2004. What the Cameron government regarded as 'green crap' is now increasingly seen as 'green gold'."

The report also highlights the huge disparities amongst the UK countries, in terms of spending on energy efficiency in people’s homes:

  • Wales spends twice as much as England per head
  • Northern Ireland three times as much
  • Scotland four times as much per head

Stuart Fairlie Technical Director comments: “We are not surprised at these headlines and figures, whilst there were signs of a positive shift late in 2017 with the publication of the Clean Growth Plan, and the subsequent plethora of consultations. We await the detailed policies required to help people live in warmer, healthier and cheaper to run homes. As proven, short term political headlines are not a strategic long term strategy. We need the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in private rented homes to be enforced from 1st April 2018, we need ECO to actually give help to the homes most in need; not be focussed on some ‘average of average’ carbon trading which effectively targets homes with more bedrooms! This needs changing for the next round of ECO this October. We need policies that make sure that the right measures go into the right homes, this is something that Elmhurst have campaigned for 25 years and will continue doing so.”

Link to report:

Article Published: 5th March 2018

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