The majority of Britons believe energy efficiency should be the number one infrastructure priority in the UK, above rail, road, airports and power stations, according to research by the Energy Bill Revolution (EBR).
In a poll released on Friday, 85% placed energy efficiency measures in their homes as one of the top three priorities on the infrastructural development agenda. The EBR, a campaign group, said the results should be heeded by George Osborne, warning that if the chancellor of the exchequer cuts back energy efficiency schemes, this could condemn more people into fuel poverty.
Fifty-seven per cent of respondents put energy efficiency schemes – which are believed to be able to save homes around £500 each year – as their highest ranking priority.
Ed Matthew, director of the EBR, said, “The UK government has over £100 billion in infrastructure projects planned but not one single penny is set aside to insulate homes. All parties need to listen. What people want more than anything is warm homes. This must be the UK’s number one infrastructure priority.”
The calls put further pressure on the government to act in support of energy efficiency amid energy price hikes. Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a 29% increase in winter deaths caused by a lack of affordable energy.
The EBR said that before last winter, energy efficiency schemes were slashed in half, and the overall financial support for such schemes has been reduced by a fifth over the course of this parliament.
Recent government figures showed that the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – the future of which has been put in doubt following David Cameron’s proposed review into green taxes –accounts for the vast majority of installed energy efficiency measures through the government.