Energy efficiency crucial, says Friends of the Earth, following new report on energy prices and bills
In response to the new report, from the Government’s committee on climate change, which has found policies to support low-carbon electricity have already reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road, Simon Bullock, Friends of the Earth Senior Climate Change Campaigner, said: “There is a clear message for politicians – if they are serious about cutting the cost of punishing energy bills and tackling climate change, making the UK’s heat-leaking housing stock energy efficient must rise rapidly up their to-do list.
“This report is further evidence that the last decade’s whopping energy bill rises are overwhelmingly due to gas costs going up, not support for renewables – which has added just £35 of the £490 increase since 2004.
“Our bills would have been even higher, if not for cuts in energy consumption – energy saving has in fact been protecting people from the decade’s stratospheric gas price rises.”
The report does illustrate several good news stories on energy efficiency, but Friends of the Earth thinks that there is more to be done. Examples include:
• 13 million people homes now have more than 15cm depth of loft insulation to keep warm at night, but four million have less than 10cm, and 600,000 still have none at all.
• There are now two million A+ rated fridges in the UK; that’s a one thousand fold increase on 2003. Similarly, there are 5.4 million A+ rated washing machines, nearly a two thousand fold increase in 10 years – however, there are still more than 15 million lower-rated machines in use.
Notes to editors:
1. The Committee’s report sets out analysis of energy bill impacts from meeting carbon budgets to date and in future. It includes assessments of price impacts from wholesale gas prices, financing low-carbon investments and energy efficiency measures, together with scope for reductions in energy demand and bills through energy efficiency improvement. The report is available to download from www.theccc.org.uk/.
2. Support for renewables has added just £35 of the £490 increase to energy bills since 2004. A further £10 has been added by the Government to bills for the carbon price.
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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust