Today’s Spending Review has confirmed the UK Government will continue to invest in upgrading the UK’s buildings to make people warmer and more comfortable, and our homes cheaper to heat. The UK Government have also confirmed they will introduce a UK wide Shared Prosperity Fund which could also help to end cold homes across the UK. Charity National Energy Action (NEA) has welcomed the announcements following their long-standing campaign for adequate resources to end the blight of cold homes, but highlights further steps are still needed to keep people warm and well.
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of NEA comments:
“Today’s Spending Review has some sobering detail on the impact of Covid 19 on jobs and incomes. That will increase the serious risk of fuel poverty for millions of households this winter.
That is why NEA welcomes the positive announcements on improving energy efficiency for people living in fuel poverty. Improving energy efficiency delivers positively on public health, housing, climate change, air quality and employment, and does so in every community across the UK.
“On its own improving energy efficiency won’t suffice. We supported calls for the UK Government to keep the lifeline and continue the uplifts to Universal Credit. This is currently providing millions of people with extra money for living essentials, including energy. We also continue to stress the importance of extending and expanding the Warm Home Discount beyond March 2022, giving vital energy rebates and wider energy and money advice.
These are key areas but are absent in today’s announcements and are critical to keeping people warm and well. We will continue to work to ensure progress is made on these vital issues to help accelerate efforts to end cold homes during this parliament”.
Contact: Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns
07884371913 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
- NEA works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone in the UK can afford to live in a warm, dry home. For more information visit www.nea.org.uk/.
- The Conservative Party manifesto 2019 pledged £9.2bn efficiency within homes, schools and hospitals to help reduce energy bills. This was split between energy efficiency improvements for social homes, a home improvement grant scheme for fuel poor private tenure homes and a public building decarbonisation fund (Table 6 in the manifesto costings document).
- Following the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan last week, the SR20 allocates £150 million to “help some of the poorest homes become more energy efficient and cheaper to heat with low-carbon energy, and a further £60 million to retrofit social housing. It also extends the popular Green Homes Grant voucher scheme with £320 million of funding in 2021-22” (p41). In total it says the government is committed to spending £3 billion on building decarbonisation, and will review this allocation in the spring, together with how it can best deliver this agenda over the course of this parliament. The Chancellor’s Spending Review documents can be viewed here.
- NEA’s Spending Review submission can be viewed here.