Households in Reading were slapped with an extra £763,200 in energy bills after Conservatives scrapped home efficiency measures in 2016. This has been made worse, as this April the Ofgem price cap increased by 54%, potentially devastating news for many households.
Analysis from the Lib Dems has found that the Conservative Government's decision to scrap the Zero Carbon Homes Standard in 2016 has added a total of £763,200 to energy bills in Reading. Under the scheme, bills would have been £300 cheaper per year.
Since scrapping the scheme, 2,544 new builds have been built with lower efficiency standards and higher energy bills. The alarms come as the energy price cap is set to increase, causing bills to increase by 54%. Additionally, the Government is mooting scrapping more home efficiency measures such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) - a levy on energy bills that pays for energy efficiency measures for people on low incomes.
The Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP commented:
“The Conservatives have slapped hundreds of pounds onto people’s energy bills by scrapping energy efficiency standards for new homes. This shameful record has left over 1.2 million more people living in poorly insulated homes across the UK. This is making them even more vulnerable to soaring energy prices. The fact that ministers are now considering cutting more energy efficiency measures is yet another indication of their lack of commitment to reaching net zero and to real ‘levelling up’ for the less well-off.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Reading Borough Council, Meri O'Connell is leading the campaign for better homes and lower bills:
“Families throughout Reading are facing sharp increases in the cost of living, made worse by the Government’s failure to show ambition and leadership in building better homes. The Conservatives have demonstrated many times over that they haven’t grasped the harsh realities that so many are facing.
In Reading, 2,544 homes have been built since the Conservatives scrapped the Zero Carbon Homes Standard. That’s 2,544 households facing £300 in extra energy bills every year. 2,544 households at risk of ill health in the winter. We demand more from our government.