Claire Coutinho MP
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
1 Victoria Street
Dear Secretary of State,
With the increase in energy prices over recent months, people across the country will face desperate decisions this winter as they struggle to afford to heat their homes.
Rising energy prices have put many in debt over the last year. For many, this crisis has been exacerbated by their poorly insulated houses – with 19 million homes in the UK failing to meet the basic energy efficiency standard of an Energy Performance Certificate rating of grade C or above.
This is an issue that affects all part of the country, but some more severely than others. For example, over the past five years only 20% of homes assessed in Pendle had an EPC rating of C, compared to over 60% in the City of London.
£1 in every £4 spent of heating is wasted because it leaks out of buildings. To address the spiralling cost of energy, retrofitting homes must be part of the solution. With home upgrades like loft insulation and new double-glazing, we can permanently lower energy bills, reduce emissions, and even improve health outcomes.
The Government has pledged to spend £6.6bn by 2025 on energy efficiency schemes, and in the 2022 Autumn Statement committed a further £6bn from 2025.
Whilst recognition of this problem is welcome, this extra funding will unfortunately be too little, too late. The 19 million households affected cannot afford two more winters of sky-high bills, and cold, damp living conditions.
As such, the Co-operative Party is calling on the Government to immediately bring forward the extra £6bn of announced funding instead of waiting until 2025, and to match the Labour Party’s commitment to spend £6bn a year over a decade to retrofit every single home which fails to meet these basic standards.
We, the undersigned, echo this call and request the Government undertakes a sufficient programme of retrofitting homes to adequately address the scale of the crisis facing millions of people across the UK.