Sticking Plaster or Real Policies?
The Conservative party yesterday added a headline grabber to their new Manifesto of ‘capping energy tariffs’. The proposal is effectively the same as Ed Miliband’s Labour party suggested in the previous election campaign. The Conservatives have responded to this by saying that the main difference is that the cap will be set by the current regulator Ofgem, not the Government and would be reviewed every six months.
The ‘policy’ is to set a cap on standard variable tariffs which is where home owners are put when their fixed deals end with their utility provider. The disappointing thing is that the same Government departments have talked about saving people money over a number of years and that the biggest ‘game in town’ is switching suppliers. This is good advice, but not a national strategic policy.
As we all know the cheapest form of energy is that which we do not use. The Government need to get out of short term headline grabbing polices and start to create a long term strategic vision for energy efficiency, by creating certainty and strategy around this vital topic; so we can start to make homes and businesses warmer and cheaper to run; as well as not having to start to build more expensive nuclear power stations in order to create the energy we seem happy to waste? We so desperately need a clear long term commitment and an end to stop start policies; the headline grabbers are one thing, but the real losers are the families out there who will continue to spend more than they should as they continue to have old leaky homes. We continue to have the worst performing homes in Western Europe. The sticking plaster approach may win you an election, but we all remember David Cameron saying that ‘his’ Government would be the greenest government ever, and before we blinked he was headline grabbing that we needed to get rid of the ‘Green Crap’ from our fuel bills!
We need a strong vision to make homes and businesses more energy efficient, the families and business owners win, the UK economy can maximise benefits of technology and installations that get us there; and we as a nation are not dependent on imported fuels and yet more expensive power stations. Please can our politicians stop playing short term politics with a very real issue affecting millions of families; this is an issue that each and every Government seem to pass on to the next one. Fuel Poverty, inefficient homes, reliance on imported fuels, expensive replacement of power stations – these are the real issues – can we have some strategic policies on these please?