What was announced
- Hidden away in the small print of today’s Plan for Growth is an announcement to step up energy efficiency support.
- The government will expand the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – which requires energy companies to install energy saving measures in fuel poor homes – with a £1bn boost over three years, starting from next April.
- The new funding will be targeted at those most vulnerable, and made available for the least efficient homes in lower council tax bands
- In addition, the government will also “imminently open applications for up to £2.1 billion over the next two years to support local authorities, housing associations, schools and hospitals invest in energy efficiency and renewable heating.”
While the ECO expansion will provide vital relief for the households that stand to benefit, alone it cannot shift the dial on the resilience of UK households to energy price shocks, now or in future. E3G has previously called for £5bn spending for green building measures to be allocated in the mini-Budget, alongside new support for supply chains and consumer advice.
At a minimum, this was the obvious moment to meet the remaining manifesto commitments for energy efficiency. The government appears to have now done so for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, but this needs further scrutiny. It seems the opportunity was missed to meet the Home Upgrade Grant pledge – which is still £1.4 billion short of what should have been committed to 2025 – leaving the mooted Spending Review overhaul as the last chance to fulfil election promises.
Juliet Phillips, Senior Policy Advisor says:
“The cold and leaky nature of Britain’s homes and buildings has left families sharply exposed to volatile international fossil fuel markets and spiralling energy bills.
Today’s small top-up to expand energy efficiency support is a welcome step, which will help cut household bills and boost the UK’s energy security. We hope to see the government go further and faster to unleash the full potential that energy efficiency has to offer to protect UK households from future energy shocks.”
Available for comment
The following experts are available for commentary – please contact them directly:
Juliet Phillips, Senior Policy Advisor, E3G
+44 7548 097 061, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
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