Local authorities are now being encouraged to make energy efficiency improvements without the help from the government in a bid to save money and drive down emissions in homes in their areas.
Writing for The Climate Group, Norman Walsh of Firefly Energy and Christine Smith, community energy coordinator with Blackpool Council, observed that properties in the UK are responsible for approximately a quarter of the world’s total energy demand, yet addressing energy efficiency isn’t always made the primary focus where politics is concerned.
A recent Policy Exchange report revealed that households in the UK that live in the least energy-efficient homes would spent up to £1,700 extra each year to make sure their properties are heated to a reasonable standard. For poorer households, the costs of this will obviously increase. Ending fuel poverty would yield benefits like reductions in energy and bills arrears so that spending can be increased in poorer communities. Reduced bills will also help alleviate feelings of stress, giving homeowners a mental health boost into the process.
Working together could be the way forward for councils around the country. Mr Walsh and Ms Smith drew attention to the Cosey Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) energy improvement project, a partnership between 14 local authorities that aims to help keep homes warm and prevent fuel poverty across Lancashire. As a result, the most vulnerable households in the county have been able to benefit from subsidised energy efficiency measures, such as free or subsidised boilers and insulation, as well as advice on energy tariff switching.
“By working together, the councils involved are able to save money through bulk-buying and redistribute surpluse funding to ensure that no household need miss out on efficiency measures. In a challenging funding environment, this means that people living in old, expensive-to-treat houses can be helped by the scheme,” the pair wrote.
Given that one of Theresa May’s first decisions as Prime Minister was to close the Department for Energy and Climate Change, making the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy responsible for such matters, it seems likely that funding for councils to make eco-friendly decisions will be hindered even more. As such, local authorities would be wise to pull together even more with their neighbours wherever possible. Her decision was widely condemned, with campaigners, experts and campaigners describing it as stupid, terrible and worrying. Greenpeace itself went so far as to say the concerns are now there that this new government does not consider climate change to be a serious threat.
If you are facing fuel poverty or live in a deprived area, it would certainly be worth seeing what subsidised measures your local council has in place to help people such as yourself beat fuel poverty and ensure that you can stay warm all winter without breaking the bank or getting into debt. And, as ever, if you need help with boiler repairs in Bradford or elsewhere, get in touch with us here at Home Services Assistance today.