Friends of the Earth today claimed that the government’s Green Deal will leave millions of the UK’s poorest people “out in the cold”.
The Green Deal is an initiative for homeowners to fit insulation without any up-front costs and pay for the work from future energy savings.
But FoE claims it will only be taken up by “well-off homeowners” and help the 4.5m UK households living in fuel poverty who cannot afford to heat their homes properly.
And it adds that it will not protect tenants dependent on the goodwill of landlords to invest in measures such as double glazing or people with hard-to-treat homes needing more than standard insulation procedures.
The environmental charity is calling for the Energy Bill – due for its first reading in the House of Lords next week – to deliver a strategy for eliminating fuel poverty and cutting emissions from houses by 42% by 2020.
Friends of the Earth believes introducing a nationwide system of local carbon budgets in the Bill is the fairest and most cost-effective way to ensure this happens.
Friends of the Earth’s senior climate change campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “The government’s Green Deal will leave many people out in the cold and will not cut carbon emissions as quickly as scientists say we must to avoid dangerous climate change.
“The self-styled ‘greenest Government ever’ must ensure the Energy Bill goes further, with a plan for a nationwide refit to slash emissions from British homes, starting with a minimum energy efficiency standard for homes rented through a private landlord or letting agency.”
Mr Bosworth added that “a strong Energy Bill would bring about warmer homes, cheaper fuel bills, tens of thousands of new jobs and better public transport”. He said the government “must not miss this chance to set us on course to a cleaner and greener future”.