UK government plans £6bn efficiency funding injection

The government has unveiled plans to invest £6bn in energy efficiency as it works to help nearly a million more low-income households benefit from energy saving measures as part of its clean growth strategy.

Claire Perry, minister for energy and clean growth, today launched a consultation to focus the government's flagship energy efficiency scheme entirely on low income households.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which was launched in 2013 to reduce carbon emissions by providing energy efficiency upgrades and heating measures, currently only benefits 70 per cent of low-income families.

A separate consultation will also look into extending the eligibility of the warm home discount, which provides £140 towards energy bills of the UK's most vulnerable.

Perry explains that the government has made clear its commitment to eradicating fuel poverty.

“By making our flagship energy scheme 100 per cent focused on low-income families we are taking another step towards achieving this goal,” she said.

“As set out in our clean growth strategy, we also want to continue to drive world-leading British innovation in green technologies for the benefit all consumers.

“That’s why we are increasing the opportunity for energy suppliers to get funding to develop new and innovative energy saving product and services, like the award winning company Q-bot’s robotic insulation service.”

The government launched its clean growth strategy in October last year, setting out plans to invest millions in renewable technology and low carbon innovations as the UK works to meet its 2050 climate target.

Victoria MacGregor, director of energy at Citizens Advice, commented: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for consumers. Focusing the scheme on low-income households is a move we’ve long supported.

“Yet, if the government is to meet fuel poverty targets, more investment will be needed. Private landlords should be required to ensure that all their properties are truly energy efficient. The government should require private landlords to carry out works up to the value of £5,000, to bring these homes up to standard.”

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