Spring Budget a missed opportunity to bring forward energy efficiency measures

15 March 2023, Ciaran Donaghy

CIEH has expressed disappointment that the Chancellor did not use the Spring Budget as an opportunity to bring forward planned spending on energy efficiency measures.
The UK Government has decided to stick to the current spending plan announced in last year’s Autumn Statement to allocate £6 billion of funding for energy efficiency measures due to take affect from 2025. 
CIEH had urged the Chancellor to use the Spring Statement 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.  
However, CIEH are pleased that the Chancellor has postponed the planned hike in the Energy Price Guarantee. The Chancellor had planned to increase the EPG from £2,500 to £3,000 from April 2023, with this planned rise not now expected until the summer. 
CIEH had been concerned that, in the absence of continued financial support, households would be left with no safety net in the face of a potential spike in energy bills from April. It is promising that action to address this has now been taken but the CIEH continues to urge the Government to prioritise energy efficiency measures as the primary means of reducing energy bills in the long-term while simultaneously decarbonising Britain’s homes. 
Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at CIEH, said:
“We are disappointed that the Chancellor appears to be taking his foot off the pedal in his Spring Statement.
By failing to bring forward planned spending on energy efficiency measures, he has missed a golden opportunity to both reduce energy bills and decarbonise the housing sector.  
While we welcome plans to postpone the planned hike in the Energy Price Guarantee, this is only a temporary measure. Furthermore, this policy pales in comparison to the positive impact a national insulation programme would have in both reducing energy bills and minimising the carbon footprint of our housing stock.“
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