‘War effort’ needed to insulate UK’s draughty homes and reach net zero

‘War effort’ needed to insulate UK’s draughty homes and reach net zero

That's according to the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee of MP's

A “war effort” is needed to insulate homes and wean the UK off fossil fuels, a cross-party committee of MPs has said.

The Environmental Audit Committee has recommended a “national mobilisation” in order to improve energy efficiency standards in homes across the country and accelerate the transition towards net zero.

In a report published on Thursday, MPs also called on ministers to set ambitious targets for rolling out onshore wind and tidal energy, as well as recommending the Government should set an end date for domestic oil and gas licensing.

The committee chairman, Conservative former minister Philip Dunne MP, said: “To reduce the UK’s demand on fossil fuels, we must stop consuming more than we need.

“We must fix our leaky housing stock, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and wastes our constituents’ hard-earned cash: we must make homes warmer and retain heat for longer.

“The Government’s welcome new Energy Efficiency Taskforce can lead a national mobilisation to install energy efficiency upgrades, which we would like to see achieve an initial target of a million homes a year and more than double this by the end of the decade.”

The committee recommended that money raised from the windfall tax on oil and gas profits should be directed towards this effort, with all homes rated at band D energy efficiency or below upgraded to band C.

“We recommend that the Government launch a national ‘war effort’ push on energy saving and efficiency,” the report said.

Committee chairman Mr Dunne also called on ministers to set a date for winding down oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

The Tory former minister said: “Fossil fuels have helped keep our homes warm, power our cars and generate the majority of our electricity. Britain will continue to need to access fossil fuel supplies during the net zero transition.

“But government should consult on setting an end date for licensing oil and gas from the North Sea.

“We can accelerate this transition by fully harnessing our abundant renewable energy resources, including tidal energy that can deliver a reliable year-round source of clean electricity, and by upgrading our energy inefficient buildings.”

In the report, ministers faced calls to include more ambition for tidal energy and onshore wind farms as part of the UK’s future energy mix when it publishes its revised net zero strategy, due before March 2023.

The committee also suggested housing developers should be required to fit solar panels on the roofs of new homes, as a means of boosting solar energy.

Mr Dunne added: “Bold action is needed now. The last year, with Russia’s aggression in Europe choking energy supplies, has shown us just how vulnerable our over-reliance on imported fossil fuels can make us.

“The committee has today set out a number of clear recommendations to drive real change: I hope the Government will act swiftly to implement them.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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