Newsletters from No 10: 4 March 2010
This week Ed Miliband launched the Government's Home Energy Management Strategy, 'Warm Homes, Greener Homes'. It sets out how we will meet the 29% reduction in (non-EU ETS) carbon emissions from the household sector required by the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan.
We are already in the process of a big improvement in the UK housing stock. Under the policy launched by the Prime Minister 18 months ago, 6 million homes are being insulated from 2008 to 2012. The Strategy sets out how we intend to ensure that all remaining cavity walls and lofts are completed (where practical) by 2015, and a further 7 million homes are given a fuller 'eco upgrade', including solid wall insulation and small-scale renewables (such as ground and air source heat pumps and solar thermal), by 2020.
The Strategy includes a number of reforms and innovations.
First, we will establish after 2012 a new obligation on energy suppliers to subsidise energy efficiency measures for their customers, with a clearer focus in the initial period on the remaining lofts and cavity walls still to be insulated, and a more specific targeting of households vulnerable to fuel poverty, including in the social housing sector. We are aiming for 3 million vulnerable households to receive fully subsidised insulation and 'eco-upgrade' measures.
Second, we will establish 'Pay As You Save' financing schemes, under which householders can install insulation and small-scale renewables with no upfront costs, and then pay for them from the savings on their energy bills over time. We will legislate to allow these financing schemes to be attached to the home, rather than the homeowner, thereby allowing longer repayment periods, continued from one owner to the next. We are currently conducting a series of Pay As You Save pilots around the country.
Third, we will give local authorities a central role in promoting and co-ordinating the uptake of household energy measures in their areas, drawing on the experience of our Community Energy Savings Programme and within the new Low Carbon Frameworks we are developing. Councils will be encouraged to create community partnerships with the energy companies, and with housing associations, community organisations and social enterprises.
Fourth, there will be a strong focus on the rented sector, to prioritise low income households and help overcome the 'landlord-tenant' problem. We will introduce a new 'warm homes' standard for social housing, with all social tenants receiving 100% subsidies for energy upgrades under the supplier obligation. And we will consult on the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented accommodation. These measure will help a lot of tenants living in cold properties.
We estimate that around 65,000 jobs will be required to achieve all this, in the manufacture, installation and servicing of insulation and small-scale renewables and associated services. So it represents another important step in our green jobs strategy too. And of course cutting energy demand is the first of our supply-side policies, reducing the investment required in power stations and windfarms, and cutting dependence on imported gas.
The full strategy can be found at http://tinyurl.com/yd9rw38.
With best wishes
Special Adviser to the Prime Minister
10 Downing St
London SW1A 2AA