And the moral of the story is…? Energy efficiency begins at home

From Friday’s Guardian, Lib Dems unveil plan for energy-efficient households:

Every UK home will be made energy-efficient within 10 years in a compulsory revamp of British housing stock equivalent to the “digital switchover”, the Liberal Democrats will promise today. … The party’s ambitious pledge increases pressure on the government, which will today announce its own plans to offer voluntary eco-makovers to one in four British homes. … It is estimated that carbon emissions from British homes account for a quarter of the country’s total. Under EU agreements, the government has 42 years to cut emissions by 80%. …

Announcing his party’s plans today, Simon Hughes, the Lib Dems’ climate change and energy spokesman, said: “One per cent of our current stock being energy-efficient is pathetic. The trouble with the government’s proposals so far is that they are mere pimples on the surface.”

Last week the National Audit Office reported that as much as half of Britain’s poorest households were ineligible for help from the £852m Warm Front scheme to cut fuel bills with grants for home insulation and heating. In the announcement today Hughes will propose that the government underwrites renovation work worth £6,500 per household, adopting as party policy a recommendation that was originally made by the independent Energy Saving Trust, which was also adopted as party policy recently by the Conservatives.

From today’s Sunday Times, Hotshot greens caught wasting home heat:

Thermal images of the residences of 10 high-profile green campaigners found that their heat loss was either worse or no better than that found in the average family home. Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat energy and climate change spokesman, owned the least energy-efficient property. He bought his £150,000 flat in Southwark, south London, 25 years ago but has failed to fit it with any significant insulation. Only last week Hughes unveiled plans to make every home in Britain energy efficient within the next decade. He could start with his own flat.

According to IRT Surveys, which analysed the thermal images for The Sunday Times, an estimated 1,812 kilowatt hours of heat a year seeps out through the walls and windows. The extra heating needed to make up for this loss produces 471kg of CO2 This weekend Hughes said he was planning to move. “I’m conscious that the house does need some more work to be as well insulated as possible,” he said. “If I stay, it will have a full survey and anything that’s necessary. In theory it doesn’t waste much energy because for large parts of the day there’s nobody there.”

The IRT analysis assumes the property is in use the whole year round. However, Steve Howard of the Climate Group, which advises businesses and governments about reducing emissions, said: “Even a poorly paid MP can afford cavity wall insulation – it will pay for itself in three years. It’s a no-brainer.”

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url for Twitter and emails.


  • “Even a poorly paid MP can afford cavity wall insulation – it will pay for itself in three years. It’s a no-brainer.”

    Many houses can’t have cavity wall insulation fitted as they don’t have cavity walls. I’d have thought that flats would be among them unless you had the whole building done.

  • Hywel

    Almost all houses and flats built after 1990 have their cavity walls already filled. Of those built between 1982 and 1990 some have filled cavities when built.

    You are right that it would be difficult for the owner of a flat to have their cavity insulated if the owners of all flats below did not do the same.

    Simon could have tried to persuade all owners in the block it have the work done at the same time though. A both cost effective and practical solution. A mini FOCUS campaign!

  • Martin Land 16th Feb '09 - 9:30am

    My concern, and I hope Simon is reading this, is the private rented sector. This important part of the housing stock is often made up of homes that don’t even have double glazing, let alone cavity wall insulation and much of the stock, especially at the bottom of the market has pre-pay meters which are especially expensive for tenants.

    Provision must be made in our policy for aid and incentives for private landlords to improve and upgrade the energy efficiency of their stock.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCharlie 29th Aug - 12:44pm
    Ukraine and EU should have followed the Finnish option. Finland existed on the Soviet borders from 1945 without being aligned to NATO or EU and...
  • User AvatarJo Christie-Smith 29th Aug - 12:25pm
    Well, that is a shame and a wasted opportunity to get one of our fantastic female approved candidates (I mean really, this woman has a...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 29th Aug - 12:24pm
    Voters in every constituency should be worried about HS2. At a time when the government is borrowing an extra £100bn each year to add to...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 29th Aug - 12:24pm
    There is an awful lot of media fluff about this, and frankly the reporting isn't great. I suggest that everyone goes and reads the actual...
  • User AvatarCatherine 29th Aug - 12:17pm
    An interesting debate on whether UKIP are worth treating seriously or not and to be honest I agree with both sides. UKIP are certainly a...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 29th Aug - 12:15pm
    Keith - Sorry, I thought that the Russians regarded all this as an internal Ukraine civil matter. Or am I mistaken? Out of interest by...