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'Radical approach needed' to energy efficiency

An ambitious strategy to encourage the UK to become more energy efficient could have wide-ranging benefits on the economy and the population's welfare, according to a new report.

The study - released by campaign group The Energy Bill Revolution - says a "radical new approach" to reducing the amount of power consumed by domestic properties would more than pay for itself.

It suggests that the programme it is proposing would create up to 108,000 new jobs in the country, cut the proportion of gas imports by 25 per cent and deliver £4.95 billion in savings every year by 2030.

The report, which is titled Building The Future, is calling for six million low-income households across the UK to be brought up to at least Band C on their Energy Performance Certificate ratings by 2025.

Of this figure, the organisation wants two million to be dealt with by 2020. In addition to this, all other properties should be offered zero-interest loans to help them install energy-saving improvements like solid or cavity wall insulation.

Director of the Energy Bill Revolution Ed Matthew said: "We have one of the most badly-insulated housing stocks in Europe and, as a result, a truly woeful record on winter deaths and fuel poverty.

"Fixing Britain’s badly-insulated homes won’t just save lives, it will provide a massive economic boost to the UK economy and it pays for itself."

Mr Matthew added there was an "overwhelming case" to make the issue a priority for government infrastructure policies in the near future.

The reduction of gas imports is also an important point to consider, as this will improve the country's energy security - something European Union leaders have been looking to address across the bloc in the most recent summit held in Brussels earlier this month.

However, whether the government will take the group's advice or not is another matter. Next month (November), ministers are expected to reveal updated details on the return of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which previously offered homeowners cashback when investing in solid wall insulation and other measures.

Posted by Simon Webster