Bath MP stands up for low-income households as Government mulls cutting energy efficiency measures

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Jan 27, 2022 6:01

Bath’s MP and Lib Dem Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has called for clarity from the Treasury over what measures they are taking to ensure that energy efficiency is achieved, particularly for struggling households. Mrs Hobhouse’s call comes as the Government weighs up options to tackle the cost of living crisis with energy prices set to rise sharply in April after the energy price cap increases. 

In her question, Wera criticised the potential plan to cut the energy company obligation (ECO) which tackles fuel poverty and reduces CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and heating upgrades for those on low incomes. It’s thought that around 9% of households in Britain have received an ECO measure, saving households £17.5bn in lifetime energy bills. Cutting the ECO would only save the average household £3 per month, in the face of an anticipated annual increase in energy bills of over £600. This is because ECO would cost just £36 per year for the average household which equates to £3 per month. 

In Bath and North East Somerset, the average yearly bill for households is set to increase by £601 - £50 per month - from April when the new energy price cap comes into effect. This is above the forecasted national average of £595. 

Commenting after she asked her question, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said: 

“Families are facing a steep increase in the cost of living and the potential cut to the energy company obligation would be disastrous. Many pensioners and other residents are deeply worried about their next heating bill. Insulation offers part of the solution to this problem and any cuts to measures that encourage home insulation and energy efficiency would be short-sighted, causing long-term problems with people’s bills. Any damage to the ECO would make households more dependent on gas which would make the crisis even worse.”

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