As energy suppliers once more hike up their prices, Age Scotland joins the call for action to keep our homes warm.
Fuel poverty is a national scandal, with more than half of single pensioners fuel poor. At both Scottish and UK levels schemes have been established to tackle fuel poverty; the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) and the Westminster Government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation. But there has been some slippage around implementing these, with the poor results so far for the Green Deal being particularly concerning.
Much of the cost of the UK Government’s schemes is levied as an added cost on household fuel bills, which means that those already struggling to pay their bills are disproportionately penalised. This needs to change.
Part of the solution to fuel poverty is for the UK Government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to help make homes super-energy efficient – with excellent insulation, renewable energy and modern boilers. The UK Government taxes big companies for the damage their carbon emissions cause to people and the environment. These taxes are used by the Government to help combat climate change and wean the UK off dirty fossil fuels. That’s a good objective, but the money the Government receives isn’t being used to help people use less energy to heat their homes – which would cut carbon emissions even further AND cut people’s energy bills. The companies eventually pass these taxes on to consumers and they end up on our bills. Over the next 15 years Westminster will raise an average of £4 billion every year in carbon taxes.
Recycling carbon revenue to make homes super-energy efficient could bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty. It could also be used to quadruple savings in carbon emissions compared to the Government’s new energy efficiency schemes and create up to 200,000 jobs – exactly what we need to support the UK’s economic recovery.
If you agree please send an e-message to your MP.
We can also make a difference by encouraging older people across Scotland to find out about, and take advantage of, existing help for cutting home energy bills. Home Energy Scotland can carry out a free home energy check, no matter what your circumstances, or wherever you live in Scotland.