UK Needs Better Insulated Homes To Free Us From Putin And The Fossil Fuel Giants | Elena Bennett

wWith each new premiership comes new trials and tribulations. No one will be more aware of this than Liz Truss and her new cabinet, who have no choice but to get involved with a plan to free the British public from the clutches of exorbitant gas prices that have caused energy bills to soar.

The cost of living crisis is almost entirely due to Putin’s war in Ukraine and his unparalleled control over gas supply in Europe. The rise in energy bills in the UK is being driven by international markets. Not, as some seem to think, from our inability to get more gas and increase its supply. The expansion of drilling in the North Sea and the fracking of the British countryside would have a negligible impact on the global deficit and on gas prices.

Continuing to pursue fossil fuels to achieve an impossible end is fruitless and only panders to the oil and gas industries, which continue to exaggerate the scale of reinvestment in “clean energy security” (despite what their well-placed advertising around to Westminster tube station might imply).

Truss is likely to feel encouraged to make rash and unsustainable decisions about how to fix this mess. The relentless fossil fuel lobby will warn you that reducing gas consumption would be a serious mistake that will only worsen the impact on an already faltering economy. And short-term support packages, while absolutely necessary, won’t address the underlying problem. One plan to offer £ 130 billion to families is a band-aid on an open, growing wound. It is not a stable and reliable solution that adequately responds to the unknown future risks of the international energy market.

The truth is, turning off the gas is the only real way to become immune to its unpredictable supply and price. All indications are that the cost of gas will remain volatile for years to come and putting out a fire by adding more logs to the wood stove is completely pointless.

The challenge of “energy demand management” is not appealing to managers, compared to the relatively easy task of building renewable energy. This is best illustrated by how offshore wind, thanks to government support ten years ago, has seen its price drop nine times less than gas. Meanwhile, home insulation funding has largely been scrapped as part of David Cameron’s ‘green shit’ culling and tariffs have plummeted since 2012, leaving the UK with some of the wettest homes in the world. ‘Europe. But the government can no longer ignore the impact that reducing energy waste would have on costs. The main way to reduce bills is to properly insulate people’s homes.

Of course, there is an upfront cost. The government’s climate consultant, the Climate Change Committee, estimates that the total cost of modernizing homes in the UK will be £ 250 billion. But the benefits to be reaped are rich. Homes rated Energy Performance Certified (EPC) in range F are likely to have gas bills of £ 968 more than homes in range C, according to a study, and moving just one tier, from D to C would save £ 420 per year on a family’s energy bills. But, in the face of yet another unprecedented crisis, most people will need help with the initial investment required, even if it is likely to pay for itself in the long run.

There is a lot this government can do to begin rapidly introducing insulation measures that help keep people warm and cut energy bills. A recent survey, commissioned by the Green Alliance, found that nine out of 10 people agree that more knowledge about insulation is needed to encourage people to renovate their homes. A public information campaign to encourage people to take energy-saving measures would be a great place to start, but despite rumors of such a campaign, the prime minister did not announce anything last week.

Families need an adequately funded rapid isolation program, especially those who are low on fuel, who are struggling to pay their bills. In addition to direct financial aid to increase retrofit efforts, tax measures should be introduced to reinvigorate investment in insulation, such as soft loans to homeowners and green mortgage regulation that allow for the release of equity to finance the measures.

This September is sandwiched between the recent record-breaking heatwaves and the coming winter. In addition to helping people stay warm during the colder months, the insulation also offers a respite from high temperatures, keeping buildings cooler.

There is now unprecedented consensus on the need to reduce long-term energy bills, and this is enshrined in the new Warm This Winter coalition, run by a group of leading organizations, including Save the Children, Oxfam and Greenpeace.

The fossil fuel industry is parasitic; it has earned £ 170 billion in extraordinary profits during this crisis, while the rest of the economy shuts its doors in the face of an impending recession. The triple threat of lower bills, better energy security and fewer emissions offered by modernizing people’s homes is a risk to the industry; when isolated homes need less energy to stay warm, the disappearance of oil and gas begins.

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