THE GREEN Party has criticised the government’s home insulation scheme as being insufficient to encourage meaningful change.
The government’s Green Deal, in which a loan is provided to meet the costs of home insulation, is meant to cut the carbon emissions of 14m homes. However, the scheme provides no guarantee of any financial incentive for each household, as the loan repayments offset falls in energy bills.
Cllr. Andrew Cooper, Green Party energy spokesperson and Councillor for Newsome, Kirklees, said: “The lack of foresight on the Green Deal will earn it a place in the public policy textbooks as a perfect example of how to get it wrong.
“The Green Partys 2010 manifesto proposed a straightforward energy efficiency programme, genuinely free at the point of purchase, which would have clearly incentivised households to sign up, and would have created in the region of 80,000 jobs.
“Instead we have a Green Deal in which a home insulation loan is repaid through your energy bill, so the effect upon fuel poverty, jobs and emissions is likely to be negligible.
“The Green Party has real experience of planning a successful free home insulation scheme. From 2007-10, the Kirklees Warm Zone (KWZ) was the largest local authority home insulation scheme in the UK, and the first to offer free loft and cavity wall insulation to every suitable property. Cllr Cooper proposed the amendment that made the scheme free.
“In Kirklees, the Warm Zone scheme saw over 50,000 homes insulated, £3.9m of fuel expenditure saved per year, and over 300 jobs created directly and indirectly.
“Friends of the Earth and the WWF have used the KWZ as a model of best practise, and both the London Assembly and Scottish Assembly have requested our help to make their own insulation schemes work.
“The governments energy policies are all headlines, but no coherent content. How can they talk about carbon efficiency with a straight face while cutting feed-in tariffs for micro-generation and giving tax breaks to shale gas?”