The incoming government promised in their manifesto to cut carbon emissions as cost-effectively as possible. As energy efficiency remains the most cost-effective source of emissions cuts, can we therefore look forward to a much needed shift in policy focus? At first glance, it may seem not: there is little explicit mention of energy efficiency in the Conservative Party manifesto, and absolutely no recognition of how its multiple benefits can contribute to other government policy aims. But increased energy efficiency can help deliver more competitive businesses and less wasteful public sector organisations. Investment in warmer homes helps families to stay healthy. And local energy efficiency investment can stimulate local economies, creating worthwhile jobs for local people. These are all arguments that should make sense to the government: it is up to us to make them persuasively and show how our sector can help them deliver on their election promises.
Today, General Election day, ACE launches its seven energy efficiency asks for the next Parliament. They are:
1. A new Energy White Paper;
2. Buildings energy efficiency as infrastructure investment;
3. The public sector must take a leadership role;
4. Zero Carbon standard for new homes and commercial buildings;
5. Minimum energy efficiency standards for existing buildings;
6. Incentives for energy efficiency retrofits;
7. Improving access to finance for energy efficiency measures.
New research by ACE for the Energy Bill Revolution campaign has found that in the last five years, 46,700 people in the UK have died due to living in a cold home. Our research used official data on Excess Winter Deaths. This is an assessment of how many more people die in the winter than at other times of year. These deaths are primarily due to illnesses brought on by the cold. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that 30% of these Excess Winter Deaths are due to people living in cold homes.