Energy efficient homes are the long-term solution to end fuel poverty, not fossil fuels

In response to Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing the UK Government’s package of energy bill subsidies, Changeworks is calling for a long-term vision to eradicate fuel poverty, tackle the climate emergency and ensure energy security into the future.

Poorly insulated homes are making fuel poverty worse and contributing to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure homes are better insulated and more energy efficient. This will shield householders from the current and future crises, and ensure Scotland remains on track for its net zero target of 2045.

While the support announced for the short term is sorely needed, these measures are not targeted at those most in need, risk increasing energy costs long-term, and make it even more difficult for the country to hit our net zero targets.

The unknown consequences of suspending green levies for the next two years will create uncertainty across industry risking investment in the drive to a net zero future.

New licenses for oil and gas will increase the industry’s investment in fossil fuels, at a time when the Government should be directing that investment to low carbon and renewable energy.

Recent insight commissioned by Changeworks shows there is only limited confidence that costs of living will become easier to control longer term, with 76% already using less energy at home to offset costs.

The measures announced today without additional market interventions will likely extend the current high prices into the future, and make it harder to bring down costs in the long term.

“What we want to see is targeted support going to those in or at risk of fuel poverty.”

Heating space and hot water accounts for 79% of energy used in the home. Investing in insulation to reduce heat lost through the roof, walls, floor and windows will make the amount of energy that people can afford go further in keeping our homes warm.

Liz Partington, Changeworks’ Deputy CEO, said: “Our energy advice services support tens of thousands of people every year. We are seeing more complex and difficult cases coming to us every week, and helping people is harder than ever.”

“What we want to see is targeted support going to those in or at risk of fuel poverty, for whom the situation is acute. We also must accelerate our work in creating energy efficient homes, as Scotland has some of the leakiest homes in Europe in terms of heat.

“Improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes and buildings is the priority long term and sustainable option to eradicate fuel poverty, improve national fuel security, and tackle the climate crisis.”

Are you struggling to pay energy bills?

Find out who you need to contact to get help.