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On Monday, Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, joined Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen in Hastings to launch’s Labour’s major new plan to end the scandal of cold homes.


Sarah Owen introduced the Shadow Secretary of State by highlighting the doorstep issues that were raised by individuals and families living in sub-standard housing.  She described the circumstances of a local woman who works part time to support her young family but has to raise them in a cold, damp home,

“As the weather gets colder more people across Hastings and Rother will struggle with paying to heat their homes.  So it was great that Labour’s Energy and Climate Change team led by Caroline Flint MP chose to launch our national plans for improving energy efficiency to an audience of local renewable energy businesses and residents in Hastings.  As well as tackling climate change, these practical solutions will help insulate over 5 million homes nationwide and result in reduced fuel bills for thousands of people in Hastings & Rye.”

Building on Labour’s energy price freeze pledge, Caroline announced a major drive on home insulation and set out plans to deliver long-term, permanent savings on energy bills and warmer homes for millions of people. The plans will mean that at least 5 million UK homes are upgraded over 10 years, saving the average household over £270 a year from their energy bill.

She revealed new figures, showing:

  • Energy bills in the least energy efficient properties are over £1,000 a year higher than homes with good insulation.
  • Two-thirds of households in fuel poverty live in the worst insulated properties.

The Energy Efficiency Green Paper sets out the steps a Labour Government will take to end cold homes:

  • Provide personalised home energy reports for half a million homes a year.
  • Deliver free energy efficiency home improvements to at least 200,000 low-income households a year.
  • Offer up to a million loans for home improvements that are interest-free in the next Parliament, for households that are able to help meet the costs.
  • Set a new target for landlords to get cold and leaky properties up to a decent standard.
  • Designate energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority.

Speaking at Sussex Coast College Hastings, Ms Flint said,

“Britain is facing an energy bill crisis, with millions of people struggling to heat their homes. Labour has already set out radical plans to freeze energy prices until 2017, saving the average household £120, and fix the energy market for the future, with a tough new regulator to curb rip-off bills.

“But one of the main reasons our energy bills are so high is that our homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe – leaking heat from their roofs, walls and windows. That’s why Labour has set out plans to freeze energy bills, reform the energy market and upgrade at least 5 million homes over 10 years. Our plans will mean cheaper bills and warmer homes for millions.”


Want to bring down your gas and electricity bills? Hastings Borough Council might be able to help but you only have a week left to sign up to Switched On Hastings. If you sign up from now until midnight on 18 November 2013, you can be a part of their first ever ‘collective energy switching scheme’.

How does it work?

  • We buy energy as a community from the supplier with the best deal

    switched on hastings

    Switched On Hastings. Collectively get your gas and electric for less.

  • You can sign up now to take part in the scheme with no obligation. Make sure you have details of your current gas and electricity consumption to hand – visit www.uswitch.com for help with understanding how your bill is worked out
  • The more people who sign up, the greater our purchasing power and you can sign up if you live in Hastings, St Leonards and the surrounding area!
  • In November, various energy suppliers will compete to make the lowest offer in an auction. They determine their offer based on the number of people taking part – so make sure you get all your friends and family to sign up
  • The supplier with the lowest tariffs ‘wins’ the auction. Two weeks after the auction, you will get a personal offer by email from that supplier and will have a few weeks to decide whether or not to accept it
  • Better still, the process of switching from your current supplier/s will be seamless and simple
  • The auction takes place on 19 November.


Sign up now for the Big Community switch: www.ichoosr.com

Get help signing up at the Switched On Hastings drop-in sessions:

The council holding drop-in sessions so you can find out more about the scheme at the Community Contact Centre on the following dates and times – don’t forget to bring your electricity and gas bills with you and we can help you get signed up, the final session is on;

  • Wednesday 13 November: 2pm to 4pm

Contact Switched On Hastings team:

Telephone 01424 451055, email switchonhastings@hastings.gov.uk or visit the Community Contact Centre between 4.30pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday.