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.”