UK's failed energy efficiency policies need urgent reform, says watchdog

1st April 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Local government ,
  • Public sector ,
  • Energy ,
  • Management/saving

Author

John O'Connor

Failure by successive governments to maximise the full potential of energy efficiency has left millions of homes poorly insulated and leaking heat, according to UK consumer watchdog, Which?

In a new report, Which? says 7.4 million homes still need their lofts fully lagged and up to 5.4 million homes lack cavity wall insulation. Current energy efficiency schemes, such as energy company obligation (ECO) and Green Deal have serious failings, the report concludes.

“With millions of homes still not insulated, energy efficiency is a collective failure of successive governments. The next government must grab this issue by the scruff of the neck and commit to an aggressive energy efficiency strategy as soon as it takes power,” Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said.

Which? wants the next Westminster administration to implement a radical, long-term energy efficiency strategy, based around a locally-led approach to reduce consumers’ energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and reduce the £1.36 billion the NHS spends every year to treat illness caused by cold homes.

The report sets out a number of recommendations for the next government, including a central funding stream with money allocated to local authorities on a needs basis. Under this arrangement, local authorities would develop and implement new energy efficiency strategies to prioritise those people most in need and provide advice on reduced insulation rates for those able to pay.

The report also recommends that the ECO be transformed into a levy that offers more cost certainty and improved reporting. The Green Deal scheme should be retained, it advises, but should be subject to a comprehensive evaluation to find out whether current interest rates, loan terms and the impact on house saleability and other factors are reasons for its low appeal to consumers.

The report says that these change could be fully implemented by 2017, provided a cross-departmental strategy on energy efficiency is set up under Decc’s leadership and with full cooperation from the business, communities and health departments as well as the Treasury.

Subscribe

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


Transform articles

IEMA reviews political party manifestos

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Sarah Spencer on the clear case for stronger partnerships between farmers and renewable energy developers

6th June 2024

Read more

A system-level review is needed to deliver a large-scale programme of retrofit for existing buildings. Failure to do so will risk missing net-zero targets, argues Amanda Williams

31st May 2024

Read more

Chris Seekings reports from a webinar helping sustainability professionals to use standards effectively

31st May 2024

Read more

Although many organisations focus on scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is vital to factor in scope 3 emissions and use their footprint to drive business change

31st May 2024

Read more

Joe Nisbet explores the challenges and opportunities of delivering marine net gain through offshore renewables

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to the June/July of Transform.

31st May 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