Green Deal needs to be fronted by people we trust
December 9, 2011
If ever there was a time to bother with a public consultation, now is that time. After a very mild autumn, winter is starting to bite and the government is seeking views on the Green Deal – which aims to ensure all of us take responsibility for insulating our homes and adopt measures to reduce our energy use.
According to figures published in July, 24% of UK households are in fuel poverty – ie spending more than 10% of the household income on heating. With gas prices up a staggering 15.4% and electricity prices up by 4.5% (and only fixed until April 2012, when there’s every chance they’ll rise again), it’s highly likely that even more households are actually in fuel poverty. That’s around 6.5 million households.
Can we commit to making 2012 the last year that so many of our neighbours, friends and colleagues will have to shiver their way through the winter because the bills are impossibly high?
The government has mapped out a timetable showing that the Green Deal will be ready to launch by autumn 2012. It will then be up to the energy companies and supermarkets, who are being asked to sell home energy improvements to the general public, to set about delivering it.
This will probably take more time than I’d like – and the truth is many of the fuel poor are likely to be no better off by next winter. We should be insisting that the government keeps the pressure on the energy companies and other businesses to ensure the Green Deal does not stall.