An article by Philip Sellwood published on the Energy Saving Trust’s website on 23/03/2017.
• Emissions Reduction Plan is a pivotal moment
• Three steps to check ambition
• Cost-effective options available
The Government is due to publish its Emissions Reduction Plan in the next few months. It aims to set the framework for emissions targets and our carbon budgets, while stimulating low-carbon growth. The background to the plan is that the Government recognises that – without additional policy measures – we will soon be very off-track in progress towards our national 2050 climate change target of an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.
The publication of the Emissions Reduction Plan is a pivotal moment for home energy efficiency in the UK. Energy use in buildings (mostly homes) accounts for 18 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions and insulating and installing renewable energy in homes is one of the most cost-effective actions the government can take to save carbon.
But even though home energy represents a great way to keep on track with our carbon target, the Energy Saving Trust are concerned that the government may not grasp the opportunity. The failure of the Green Deal programme under David Cameron’s first administration – for a whole host of reasons – has made politicians nervous of an ambitious home energy saving policy programme.
It’s time we put that failure behind us. We want to see a pragmatic effective strategy from government that will help citizens across the UK save energy in heating and electricity use, and generate free, clean energy at home. A strategy that will keep us on track with national carbon reduction targets and have the added benefit of helping tackle fuel poverty and lowering householders’ bills.
So, what are the key elements to look out for when the Emissions Reduction Plan is announced? Well, for me, there are three simple tests that should tell us whether home energy is rightly at the centre of the government’s plans for long-term carbon reduction.
Thanks for reading.