Greenpeace Tease a £7 Billion Energy Efficiency Boost to Help the Economy
According to an analysis from Cambridge Econometrics, insulating homes and installing heat pumps could benefit the UK economy by £7 billion a year. The study, published by Greenpeace, says this will create 140,000 new jobs by 2030. It largely depends upon the backing of government policy and will be effective, providing the government is willing to act.
Worryingly enough, there isn’t much planned to encourage households to insulate their homes. While the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is available, take-up has been slow as high levels of insulation need to be in place, which can cost between £7,000 and £15,000. There is no government incentive in place for getting this insulation in the first place.
Insulation is the cheapest way to cut energy bills. The government has been told this since Russia’s invasion into Ukraine in February this year but has done nothing to act in all this time. Not only this, but there are important health and social benefits from lifting people out of fuel poverty. It improves health and wellbeing, as well as the educational prospects for children.
The £7 billion boost would be generated in part from savings received on energy bills. The green jobs generated from this scheme and the positive impact it would have on the economy would free up spending. It would be an answer to energy concerns, the environment and the downturn of the economy all at once.
By making the UK’s homes greener at such a large scale in a short amount of time, energy consumption will invariably be reduced. This would cut bills and slash carbon emissions; a way of providing warmer homes that are cheaper to run and put an instant limiter on climate change.
According to the study, government investment for the subsidies of insulation and heat pumps would have to be almost £28 million between now and 2030 to see this boost to the economy. Greenpeace has even called for the chancellor to provide more support through a windfall tax on oil and gas companies and to use the 70% tax to help those in fuel poverty.
Fresh calls for a windfall tax have come about after critics of Liz Truss’ Energy Price Guarantee have estimated that it will allow energy companies to keep £150 billion, which does anything but help resolve the energy crisis. Gas prices are expected to be high for at least the next two years, perhaps longer.
The rate at which the UK is insulating its homes has been falling year on year, and yet the government doesn’t seem to be generating any mass incentive, either for the purposes of reducing energy bills or going green. Perhaps the promise of a £7 billion stimulation of the economy is enough to spur ministers into action. Only time will tell.