Industry responds to Labour’s ‘War on cold homes’

Labour’s announcement this week to provide interest free loans for energy efficiency improvements to one million UK homes has been cautiously welcomed by many in the green sector.

Although Labour’s intention to make energy efficiency a bigger priority have been applauded, many industry commentators have questioned whether the commitment to treat just 20 percent of the nation’s housing stock over the life of the next parliament is ambitious enough.

Dave Sowden, chief executive of The Sustainable Energy Association, said: “The placing of energy efficiency in such a prominent policy position with a long-term plan is to be welcomed. The energy efficiency sector has recently been damaged by short-term changes in policy.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Labour and the other mainstream parties as they approach the election to produce a comprehensive Energy in Buildings Strategy that covers energy efficiency, heating and use of electricity in a properly integrated, stable and long-term policy framework.”

Julie Evans, BSRIA chief executive, said: “To really make a difference in delivering on our carbon commitments we need to address the performance of the existing building stock. However the detail is yet to be provided and it’s not clear how this might be achieved without spending more money or adding to anyone’s energy bill.”

Dr Nina Skorupska, REA chief executive, said: “Energy efficiency is rightly the number one priority in the war on cold homes, but renewable heat technologies have a role to play too. For the nearly four million UK homes off the gas-grid, renewable technologies are the most cost-effective options for heat, as well as being the most climate-friendly.”