‘Short-sighted’ decision to ditch zero-carbon rule ‘has cost households £1.8bn in energy bills’

Exclusive: Almost 1m households paying £200 a year more because of Tory decision to overturn coalition-era energy-saving plan, say Liberal Democrats

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 26 April 2022 16:43
Comments
<p>(Gareth Fuller/PA)</p>

(Gareth Fuller/PA)

Households living in nearly 1 million homes built since 2015 have been hit by an additional “energy bill bombshell” totalling £1.8bn because of the government’s decision to scrap net-zero targets, Liberal Democrats have said.

And the average £200-a-year cost for each household is due to soar higher over the coming year, following the massive hike in the energy price cap in April, which is expected to be repeated in the autumn.

Laws passed under the coalition government to require every new-build home to have zero carbon emissions were scrapped by David Cameron’s administration soon after Conservatives took sole control in 2015.

Since this time, almost 1m homes which do not meet zero-carbon standards have been built.

Lib Dem climate emergency spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said that the “abysmally short-sighted” decision will have pushed many families towards fuel poverty as the price of gas and electricity increased by an average £700 earlier this month.

The party is putting cost-of-living concerns at the heart of its campaign for local elections across Britain on 5 May.

Figures from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) suggest that measures to make homes zero-carbon typically save households around £200 a year on their energy bills, thanks to factors like better insulation.

Over the seven years since the policy was scrapped, the total extra cost in bills is estimated to have reached £1.8bn and the figure is climbing ever-faster.

“Families up and down the country are being driven into fuel poverty, having to make agonising choices between heating and eating because of the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis,” said Ms Hobhouse. “This pain and misery for millions had been coming down the track for a long time. Scrapping zero carbon homes has proven to be an abysmally short-sighted move from a government that has failed with all hands to protect people from sky-high energy bills.

“New homeowners can send the Conservatives a message in May by voting for your local Liberal Democrat champion. They have failed families struggling with their energy bills and it’s time to send them a message.”

Ms Hobhouse’s party is calling for a windfall tax on energy firms to pay for measures to reduce energy poverty and insulate homes.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in