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Greens call for mass insulation of millions of homes

New housing against a blue sky
Photo by James Feaver on Unsplash
  • The cheapest energy bill - with the lowest carbon emissions - is the one you don’t have to pay because your home is so well-insulated that it needs little or no heating.
  • Green-led Lewes District Council and neighbouring local authorities pave the way with plan to retrofit 40,000 council homes.

A £250 billion investment plan for local authorities is needed to insulate and upgrade 10 million homes.

The Green Party has also called for a £320 emergency winter fuel payment for every household as energy bills surge, and the restoration of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and doubling it to £40 per week, paid for through a ‘dirty profits tax’ on fossil fuel companies [1].

County Durham Green councillor Jonathan Elmer said:

“The cost of living crisis is hitting local communities hard - and it’s only going to get worse. But the government is failing to recognise the severity of the situation - one where an increasing number of households face the stark choice between heating and eating.

“The Greens have a plan to address this crisis to benefit both people and the planet. The cheapest energy bill - with the lowest carbon emissions - is the one you don’t have to pay because your home is so well-insulated that it needs little or no heating.

“That’s why we want to see local councils lead a mass home upgrade scheme, modelled on a programme in Lewes District Council, led by Green Party councillor Zoe Nicholson[2]. Here, the Council is working with six other local authorities, including Green-led Brighton and Hove City Council, to retrofit 40,000 council homes, using the collective financial firepower of their housing maintenance accounts - a combined total of £1 billion.

“We also want to provide households with immediate support through a £320 winter fuel payment and raising Universal Credit to £40 per week. As the profits of fossil fuel companies soar to dizzying heights on the back of rising energy prices, we say their dirty profits should be taxed and used to help people through difficult times.“

Notes:

[1]  The Green Party’s full five-point plan to address the dual crises of the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency:

  1. Address pay inequality and provide real society security, including restoring the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and doubling it to £40 per week and extending emergency fuel payments to all by providing each household with an additional £320 to help them pay for spiralling energy costs.
  2. Invest in energy efficiency and energy security, including funding local authorities to better insulate all homes and carry out deep retrofit of 1 million homes a year.
  3. Invest in green jobs, including a retraining guarantee for existing oil and gas workers, as well as those who have recently left the sector.
  4. Tax pollution and wealth, including increasing the supplementary tax already charged on North Sea oil and gas to 40%, which would raise £5bn, and transition towards a carbon tax to make polluters pay.
  5. Use the power of money for good, including banning any bank holding a UK banking licence from investing in new fossil fuel development and updating the Bank of England’s mandate so that funding the sustainability transition becomes a central objective, alongside the maintenance of price stability
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