Labour pledges to put efficiency at heart of energy policy

23rd September 2014

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Local government ,
  • Property ,
  • Manufacturing ,
  • Energy ,
  • Business & Industry


Helen Davies

A series of speeches by shadow cabinet ministers at the Labour party's annual conference today pledged action on energy efficiency and air quality.

Shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change Caroline Flint said she was “declaring war on cold homes”. A Labour government would provide 500,000 free home energy reports a year so that people understand better how to cut their bills, she said.

Flint also pledged to retrofit 200,000 homes a year for those on low incomes using money from the energy company obligation (ECO). Homes would be brought up to a level C standard of the energy performance certificate, she said.

Under Labour’s plans, local authorities would be put in charge of implementing the retrofit programmes so that they can be delivered street-by-street.

Currently energy companies are responsible for identifying eligible homes, and the scheme only delivers one energy efficiency measure per home.

“The cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use. Yet heat is going straight out of our roofs, windows and walls. We might as well burn money,” she to delegates.

The focus on energy efficiency was welcomed by the manufacturing organisation, the EEF. However, its head of climate and environment policy, Gareth Stace, said that it was “disconcerting” that there was no mention by Flint of industrial energy consumers.

Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle, meanwhile, criticised the government’s performance on environmental issues. A Labour government would devolve powers to councils willing to take action against air pollution and introduce a national programme of low-emission zones to encourage less polluting vehicles, she said.

She also promised a new climate adaptation programme and to reinstate flood protection as a priority for the environment department. An independent national infrastructure commission will identify the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs including flood protection, she said.

Mary Creagh, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, pledged to support local authorities wanting to introduce London-style public transport integration; reform the railways, including placing a cap on fares; and introduce a requirement for all HGVs to be fitted with safety devices to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

She also promised “a swift decision on airport expansion in the national interest.”


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Around 20% of the plastic recycled is polypropylene, but the diversity of products it protects has prevented safe reprocessing back into food packaging. Until now. David Burrows reports

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close