Consumer group calls for action to tackle UK’s inefficient homes

Millions of people in the UK are paying high energy bills because they live in draughty homes. The next government needs to do more to improve the efficiency of the nation’s housing stock, a new report says.

With just one month to go until the general election, consumer watchdog Which? has called for the next administration to take a better approach to energy efficiency to help ensure that homes are better insulated.

The report, A Local Approach to Energy Efficiency, argues that, despite successive governments attempting to address this issue, homes across the UK are still among the least energy efficient in Europe.

The organisation wants to see the creation of a central funding pot for energy saving measures that would be distributed by local authorities, as well as an immediate evaluation of the Green Deal – a government-backed initiative that supports energy-saving home improvements. According to Which?, since the scheme was launched just 399 plans have been taken out on average each month – around 9,600 in total.

Other recommendations in the report include clear insulation targets and delivery plans extending over the next ten years, with a joined-up approach involving the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Department for Communities and Local Government, HM Treasury, Department of Health, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and devolved administrations.

Which? also called for greater scrutiny and oversight of the money spent from consumers’ bills on energy efficiency.

“We want to see radical improvements to the roll out, funding and take-up of energy efficiency measures so people can enjoy warmer homes, lower bills and better health,” commented Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.

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