You are here: Home - Saving & Banking -

Brown’s energy plan criticised

Written by:

The Government has pledged to help households save more than £300 per year on their energy bills, but an industry commentator believes the plans announced today will leave many out in the cold.  

The Home Energy Saving Programme, a £1bn package unveiled today by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, will assist homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient, according to the Government. It requires a £910m commitment from energy companies, in addition to an existing obligation on these companies to spend £2.8bn on helping customers save energy over the next three years.

The Government and industry contributions combined will amount to a £6.5bn programme of improvement in the nation’s housing stock. Where practical, the Government aims to have all British homes insulated by 2020.

In addition to measures outlined in the last Budget, Brown announced today that Cold Weather Payments will increase from £8.50 to £25 per week for winter 2008/9. The Warm Front scheme will also reduce 40,000 households’ fuel bills by £180 per year on average, according to the Government, with up to £2,700 of central heating and energy efficiency measures provided for low income and pensioner households.

However, the plan has been criticised as over-complicated by comparison site Energyhelpline, which claims it won’t have the immediate impact required for households struggling with rising bills.

Mark Todd, director of Energyhelpline, said: “Over the course of three years, £910 million will be given to help improve energy efficiency in homes through loft and wall insulation. That’s a meagre £10 per home, however energy insiders have revealed to us that there is already a £36 levy on a typical energy customer to fund energy efficiency measures – so it’s difficult to see who is really benefiting.

“This winter more than 5 million people will suffer from fuel poverty. They need help now, and they need it before the coldest weather hits this winter.”

Todd also said the Government’s announcement was misleading. “The freeze on energy bills for those on social tariffs is not new, most energy companies announced this when they raised their prices, following pressure from Ofgem,” he explained.

He questioned the Government’s understanding of the issues, claiming it has a short-term energy crisis on its hands, which requires immediate action. Instead, Todd suggested the Government extend the Winter Fuel Allowance to help the UK’s poorest people stay warm.

“If the Government gave £200 to the bottom quarter of households who do not quality for the Winter Fuel Allowance, around 5 million, it would cost £1bn. This is just over the amount outlined in the plans Gordon Brown has introduced today, but would have a direct and immediate effect on 5 million homes rather than 500,000.”


Tag Box




Financial fitness

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Consumers warned to question “added value”

Current account incentives cost consumers an average of £1.27 per month, according to research by financial research firm Defaqto.