Book News: April 3rd, 2008

This report from the Local Government Association calls on the Government to adopt proposals to combat climate change and fight fuel poverty. It advocates a stronger role for local councils and local people in how the public’s money is spent to make homes more energy efficient.

The association sets out an action plan to ensure every home in the country is insulated, lift half a million people out of fuel poverty and slash household energy bills. It argues that the proposals would save around 10 million householders over 200 pounds a year on their energy bills and cut household carbon emissions by more than 20 per cent.

Under the proposals, energy suppliers would contribute 500 million pounds a year towards a national home insulation programme. Utility companies have recently racked up huge profits. Centrica, the owner of British Gas, posted returns for 2007 of 1.9 billion pounds. Energy bills have been hiked up by as much as 15 per cent. Households now spend 8 billion pounds more on gas and electricity than they did five years ago.

The insulation programme would provide a pound for pound match for what ordinary people currently pay, and the regulator, OFGEM, would ensure no additional costs were passed onto households. Local councils would be central to the scheme’s implementation.

The Report is available from the LGA.