Wednesday, 22 July 2015

NIA Welcomes the Secretary of State, Amber Rudd’s Positive Support for Energy Efficiency and Outlines Some Priority Areas

During yesterday’s session with the Energy and Climate Change Committee on DECCs priorities for 2015 and beyond, the Secretary of State Amber Rudd clearly signalled the key role that energy efficiency has to play in reducing carbon and fuel bills and her intentions to work with industry in developing a long term framework for homes and fuel poverty:  

"Energy efficiency is the most effective way to reduce carbon and reduce bills - it is the win-win"

"I'm particularly ambitious in this area and I want to put together a long-term framework for homes and fuel poverty. I'm looking at the various initiatives that have been in place under the last Government to find out which ones are working best and which ones have not worked well, so that we can work with industry to design a system that will deliver most cost effectively.”

Commenting on yesterday's statements from the Secretary of State, our CEO Neil Marshall said “We welcome the recognition of the importance of energy efficiency along with the level of ambition and intent and look forward to working with Ministers and officials in turning this into the delivery of hard measures on the ground.  With around 6m cavity walls, 7m solid walls and 7m lofts in existing homes still lacking adequate insulation, it is crucial that a long term plan is developed which will ensure that these homes are insulated in a timely, systematic and cost effective manner.  Next week we are meeting with DECC Ministers and look forward to kick starting this process.

If we are to succeed in developing a vibrant market for energy efficiency among able to pay households and tackling the scourge of fuel poverty the new long term framework and plan outlined by the Secretary of State will need to incorporate some important elements:

-          A consumer awareness and engagement programme with Government backing to clearly spell out the benefits of insulation.
-          Targeted incentives and regulations where they are needed and can be justified as a means of pump priming the market.
-          The increased role that area based delivery can play in achieving more cost effective delivery on the ground and engaging whole communities in energy efficiency upgrades.
-          A more attractive ‘Pay as you Save’ proposition that reflects the way that consumers purchase and pay for other items with greater flexibility and choice in interest rates and payback periods.
-          A more effective and efficient means of identifying and targeting fuel poor households with a package of appropriate measures delivered that will ‘fuel poverty proof’ the property.
-          The importance of working with the industry, Local Government and consumer groups in the development and delivery of the plan in order to benefit from their expertise whilst achieving their support and ‘buy in’.”

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