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Household Energy Management

Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

Together with my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Minister for Housing, I am publishing today “Warm Homes, Greener Homes: A strategy for Household Energy Management”, which sets out the strategy for improving energy efficiency in people’s homes through to 2020. Copies of the document will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Improving domestic energy efficiency helps people to make their homes more comfortable, to save money on their energy bills and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy sets out a comprehensive approach to helping people do that across all tenure types.

The strategy will deliver greenhouse gas emissions savings of at least 4 million tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2020, ensuring the UK hits its target of cutting emissions from households by 29 per cent. by 2020.

The strategy sets out our commitment to support people to install cavity wall and loft insulation in every home where practical to do so by 2015, while increasing the volumes of more significant insulation measures. We will help people to install eco-upgrades to their homes—which go beyond basic measures to include solid wall insulation and/or micro-renewable energy generation—in up to 7 million homes by 2020, on the way to ensuring that all homes have benefited from energy efficiency measures by 2030. There will be particular support for vulnerable groups.

To deliver against these objectives, the strategy sets out a new policy framework. This reflects the fact that the existing obligation for suppliers to support energy efficiency measures is due to expire at the end of 2012, and also the new challenges that need to be overcome to meet our stretching ambitions.

The strategy has four elements:

An enhanced role for local authorities, including a requirement on energy companies to partner with councils to deliver local area-based programmes and further support for district heating;

New financing mechanisms, including an obligation on energy companies to support people to improve their energy efficiency and plans for legislation to enable households to install measures without upfront costs, with repayments made out of the savings in energy bills;

Universal standards for the rented sector, including a new warm homes standard for social housing to complement decent homes and plans for regulation of the private rented sector;

Support for consumers in understanding their options, including a universal advice service, new standards for installation, and plans to make better use of the energy performance certificate.

We estimate that the implementation of this strategy will help support around 65,000 jobs in 2020 in the installation and manufacture of insulation and micro-generation, with further jobs created in the wider supply chain.

The proposals in this strategy signal a step change in the level of ambition for the household sector over the next decade that will put the country on track to meet our carbon targets while at the same time saving families money on their fuel bills, creating jobs and helping to secure our energy supplies.