CIEH urges Chancellor to fast-track energy efficiency measures in Spring Budget
CIEH has urged the Chancellor to use his Spring Budget as an opportunity to fast-track planned spending on energy efficiency measures as well as extending financial support to households struggling with their energy bills.
Under the UK Government’s current plan announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement, the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), which caps annual energy bills to £2,500, will rise to £3,000 from April. On top of this, the Energy Bills Discount Scheme which provided £400 to every household is due also due to end in April. Furthermore, while the Chancellor pledged £6 billion of funding for energy efficiency measures, this is not due to take effect until 2025.
CIEH are urging the Chancellor to use the Spring Budget to bring forward this planned spending, focusing on the poorest insulated homes, to urgently insulate Britain’s housing stock, which is among the draughtiest in Europe. According to recent data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), only 41% of domestic dwellings in England and Wales are rated with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of grade C or above. In its recently published Manifesto for Environmental Health 2022/23 CIEH has called for all homes to achieve an EPC rating of C or above by 2030.
Furthermore, despite a decrease in wholesale gas prices, CIEH remains concerned that in the absence of continued financial support, households will be left with no safety net in the face of a potential spike in energy bills. CIEH urges the Government to scrap the planned increase of the Energy Price Guarantee and to preserve the Energy Bills Discount scheme as a means of financial support for households who have been plunged into fuel poverty during this cost-of-living crisis.
Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at CIEH, said:
“We would urge the Chancellor against taking a complacent approach in his Spring Budget.
While wholesale energy prices are decreasing, and a return to economic growth is to be welcomed, this has not yet directly translated in any meaningful way to the most vulnerable households, still feeling the full effects of this cost-of-living crisis.
We urge the Government to stay on the front foot by continuing to provide financial support for those struggling with their energy bills by scrapping the planned hike in the Energy Price Guarantee and continuing the Energy Bills Discount Scheme for those struggling with their energy bills.
Finally, we are calling on the Chancellor to fast-tract spending on energy efficiency as we urgently need to insulate Britain’s homes now, as a means of reducing energy bills and decarbonising the housing sector”