In response to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget announcement today, our head of policy Stew Horne said:
“The continuation of the Energy Price Guarantee is certainly welcome to provide some relief for many people struggling to pay their bills. But energy bills are still more than double what they were two years ago, and we need rapid action to address the interlinked energy and climate crises for the long-term. They share the same root cause: our over reliance on fossil fuels.
“The UK Government has set a target to reduce energy use by 15% by 2030. Despite positive announcements to alleviate the immediate cost of energy for households and to address the UK’s energy supply, the UK Government has yet again missed a major opportunity to set out firm, actionable, long-term plans that clarify exactly how we will address energy demand.
“UK homes are among the most inefficient in Europe: too many people pay for heat that simply escapes.
“We must reduce our overall energy consumption, accelerate the electrification of heat in our homes, and end our dependence on expensive and polluting fossil energy sources.
“Retrofitting homes to make them warmer and more efficient is the quickest and most effective way to bring down bills and reduce carbon emissions now and for the long-term.
“There’s still over £2bn of unallocated energy efficiency funding pledged in the 2019 manifesto which needs to be invested in upgrading people’s homes.
“What we needed to see today was a commitment to an Energy Demand Strategy. This should include a plan for a national retrofit programme, a national energy advice service to support households, more incentives for low carbon heating and investment in low-cost renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.
“Delivering energy efficient homes and businesses will improve energy security, boost the UK economy and accelerate our transition to net zero. It is long past time the UK Government turned ambition into action.”