Effective insulation could slash gas bills by a third

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THOUSANDS of Yorkshire households could slash a THIRD off their gas bills if their homes were effectively insulated, according to new research from a fuel poverty campaign group.

The Energy Bill Revolution claims the £653 saving could be made by a family living in a “typical” badly-insulated family home, and is equivalent to the entire bill for heating and hot water for seven-and-a-half months, from mid-February until October.

The claim comes just weeks after the Government announced changes to its energy efficiency funding, reducing the obligations of energy suppliers.

As reported in Consumerwatch, one scheme to make homes in east Leeds warmer and help residents save up to 40 per cent on heating bills has been put on hold as a result of the changes. The £1.2m home insulation scheme, due to start last month, would have seen around 150 properties in the Nowells area having solid wall insulation paid for by Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding.

ECO places an obligation on energy companies to install energy efficiency improvements in low-income households and areas. But the Government has recently extended the timeframe for the ECO work to four years, and energy suppliers are now required to make only 100,000 solid-wall insulation installations over that period. In 2012 alone, there were 80,000 installations.

Energy Bill Revolution director Ed Matthew said a “colossal” amount of money is wasted by British households due to the bad level of insulation of the UK housing stock.

His campaign is calling for “a truly ambitious programme of insulation for Britain’s homes” which would “give millions of people a huge saving on their heating bill, eliminate fuel poverty at a stroke and give a fantastic boost to the building industry”. The campaign, which represents almost 200 of Britain’s biggest businesses, unions and charities, is calling on the Government to pay for the scheme using carbon tax.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: “We are extending and simplifying the Green Deal to help more families to have warmer, more energy-efficient homes and lower bills. The Government has incentivised energy companies to keep delivering hard-to-treat cavity and solid wall insulation. It has also increased the funds available to local authorities through Green Deal Communities from £20 million to £80 million to help support ‘street-by-street’ programmes for hard-to-treat homes in a cost-effective way, and will keep the Green Deal cashback scheme open.”

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