News of the Government spending £3 billion pounds on insulation is very welcome. This is something that Greens have wanted for many years, since Caroline Lucas (now a Green MP) and others developed the Green New Deal in 2008-9.
Home insulation is the simplest and most effective way of reducing energy use in housing. It means lower fuel bills for families, less carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere and less NOx gases emitted from domestic gas-fired boilers.
Insulating homes is not new. Sadly, government cuts killed off almost all home insulation work after 2012. And this is still a lot less than the £9.2 billion promised in the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto for energy efficiency.
This investment will save money for the NHS. Research tells us that every £1 invested in home insulation can save the NHS 42p if it is spent on the homes that most need it. Cold homes kill.
Of course, the devil is in the detail. This should be an opportunity for smaller, local businesses to pick up work and increase skills in energy efficiency measures, creating hundreds of jobs a year.
And this scheme will be most effective if it comes with a good package of one-to-one education for householders about understanding energy usage in the home.
Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party