By KLTV Newsdesk –
As Kirklees homeowners contend with record energy costs, the Eco Experts are calling for long-term solutions to the energy crisis.
35.1% of homes in Kirklees have been identified as energy crisis hotspots, meaning residents are predicted to plunge into fuel poverty due to extreme heating bills in housing that lack basic insulation.
Subsidising energy companies to enable price caps is an expensive, short-term solution. Governments must prioritise tackling the UK’s dependency on gas and the dire insulation problem.
Josh Jackman, Senior Writer for the Eco Experts comments: “Fuel poverty has hit millions of households: 13% in England, 18% in Northern Ireland, 25% in Scotland, and 12% in Wales, according to government reporting.
“That’s outrageous for one of the richest nations on Earth. Fuel poverty shouldn’t exist here.
“After providing sufficient support, the government must engage in a far-reaching programme to insulate homes and develop green sources of energy.”
The Eco Experts call on the government to improve household insulation and ramp up grants for heat pumps, tackling household dependence on the volatile gas industry to heat their homes.
Among a swathe of controversial measures in his mini budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng announced measures to tackle skyrocketing energy bills, which would total £60bn ($67 billion) in the first six months alone.
These measures consist of price caps for annual household bills and businesses alike. Justifying the measure, in his budget announcement, the Chancellor stated: “The heavy price of inaction would have been far greater than the cost of these schemes”.
However, Kwarteng chose to pay the price of inaction, with his budget failing to meet the demand for cost-saving measures like insulation and heat pump grants. In fact, over its lifetime, an air source heat pump typically saves households £6,700, compared to a gas boiler.
“Insulation and heat pumps may not be sexy but they sure are effective.” Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK said.
According to the International Energy Agency, heat pumps could be capable of supplying more than 90% of global space and water heating. Heat pumps rely on electricity, rather than gas, to heat homes. Compared to gas, electricity prices are far less volatile.
Government measures are still failing to meet Heat Pump demand. Analysis reveals that at the current rate, it will take close to 600 years to reach the Government’s 2050 heat pump installation target. Each year 45 times the number of gas boilers are installed in the UK than heat pumps, trapping UK homeowners into gas dependence.
Experts estimate that households could be saved up to £1000 with a nationwide street-by-street insulation program. Without moving to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes, the government will continue to rely on expensive and temporary price cap measures.