Press releases

Energy Efficiency should be a 'National Mission'

Energy Efficiency should be a 'National Mission'

A new joint report by E3G and the Fabian Society has called for government to get tough on the sale or letting of energy wasting properties.

‘Taking Back Control: Where next for household energy efficiency policy in the UK’ authored by Ingrid Holmes, Rebecca Lawson and Ed Wallis, calls for a carrot and stick approach to improving energy efficiency that would see low income households being given full grants to undertake renovations to bring their homes up to energy efficiency standards.

And for those who don’t take action to improve the energy efficiency of their homes a progressively tougher ban would come into place that would mean by 2030, no home may be sold that ranks lower than a C on its energy performance certificate (EPC).

The report also argues that such a large scale investment is feasible compared to other large scale government infrastructure investments. Government figures indicate that investing in this infrastructure would see greater economic returns to the public purse that other similarly expensive investments like High Speed 2.

Ed Wallis, Editorial Director and Senior Research Fellow at the Fabian Society said:

Better energy efficiency should be a national mission. This issue can’t be a footnote in the next election.

The debate around energy in this country has focussed so far on prices and supply, with Ed Miliband’s price freeze and the government’s will-they-won’t-they charade on shale gas dominating the media. All the while Britain’s homes have been leaking energy.

Neither the climate nor hard-pressed households can afford to do this. The next government must make energy efficiency a national priority, priming the pump with investment and encouraging private capital with a new regulatory framework.

Ingrid Holmes, Associate Director at E3G said:

It’s a scandal that in the UK – the third biggest economy in Europe – 26,000 people die of the cold each year, with at least one-third of these deaths due to people living in cold homes.

People are prepared to do more on efficiency but only if the government backs this as a serious investment programme. Access to affordable finance will be key but so too will be a real sense of shared purpose. Only then with households be inspired and enabled to step up and do their bit.

Notes to editors

The proposed roadmap for prohibiting wasteful private letting:

  • from 2018-2019 no home may be rented out unless it meets EPC E or above;
  • from 2020 no home may be rented out unless it meets EPC D or above;
  • from 2020 no home may be sold unless it meets EPC E or above; and
  • from 2025 no home may be sold unless it meets EPC C or above.

The report authors are available for interview and comment. Please contact Ingrid Holmes, Associate Director at E3G,

E3G is an independent, non-profit European organisation operating in the public interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable development. E3G builds cross-sectoral coalitions to achieve carefully defined outcomes, chosen for their capacity to leverage change. E3G works closely with like-minded partners in government, politics, business, civil society, science, the media, public interest foundations and elsewhere.

The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest political think tank. Founded in 1884, the Society is at the forefront of developing political ideas and public policy on the left. The society is alone among think tanks in being a democratically-constituted membership organisation, with almost 7,000 members. It is constitutionally affiliated to the Labour Party.


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