Labour pledges over £10bn to new energy efficiency plan

Labour has revealed a £11.5bn energy efficiency scheme that aims to assist four million households in saving at least £270 a year on energy bills.

The party is promising a "street-by-street" rollout of home insulation to "dramatically" improve household energy efficiency, bringing four million households up to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or above by the end of a five-year parliamentary term, in an effort to "fix the broken energy system.”

Labour said it would provide £2.3bn in funding a year for local authorities to deliver the scheme. Up to £10,000 of energy efficiency measures would be installed per household, with a view to cutting at least £270 a year off energy bills. 

Low income homeowners and those in social housing would receive free insulation measures, while other landlords and homeowners would be able to access zero interest loans to fund the upgrades. Under the plan, private landlords with low-income tenants would be eligible for a 33 per cent subsidy. 

Around one in 10 UK households are currently living in fuel poverty, while millions of pounds are wasted on heating inefficient homes. With homes responsible for 13 per cent of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions, experts have long argued tackling draughty households will be crucial for meeting the country's climate targets. 

Labour's policy proposal follow new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) which came into force in April 2018, requiring commercial and domestic landlords to bring properties up to an EPC rating of at least E before re-letting.

The government has also proposed reforms to its ECO energy efficiency scheme to focus specifically on fuel poor households, targeting upgrades of heating and insulation on 900,000 low income homes by 2022, at a cost of £640m a year. 

It forms part of the government's pledge in the Clean Growth Strategy to bring 2.5 million fuel poor homes up to an Energy Performance Certificate Rating of C by 2030.

Under its new plan Labour also promised to ramp up MEES legislation to require all domestic landlords to bring their properties up to EPC rating of at least C by 2035 in a move designed to provide a long term signal to property owners.

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey explained: “Our ambitious insulation plan will see the next Labour government take real action against fuel poverty, making homes cheaper to heat, improving people's health by improving our housing, creating new jobs and reducing carbon emissions.”

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