Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Carbon Plan to cut emissions and energy bills

Today saw the publication by the Government of the Carbon Plan. This was a key plank of the Liberal Democrat manifesto in 2010 so it is fantastic to see it being delivered in Government by the Coalition.

"Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister backed cross-Government action plan on climate change has been launched today which sets strict actions and deadlines that Whitehall will have to meet to ensure that the Government lives up to its ‘Greenest Government’ ever aim.

The Carbon Plan:
Shows that the delivery of the Government’s low carbon agenda is the shared responsibility of the whole of Government with key actions for BIS, DfT and HMT.

Will help ensure that each Whitehall department deliver key climate actions for which they are responsible to a clear framework of deadlines. Progress against these deadlines will be published quarterly on the No.10 website.

In a foreword to the document, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change write:

"This Carbon Plan sets out a vision of a changed Britain, powered by cleaner energy used more efficiently in our homes and businesses, with more secure energy supplies and more stable energy prices, and benefiting from the jobs and growth that a low carbon economy will bring.

Becoming a low carbon economy will be one of the greatest changes our country has ever known. But it is a change for the better, for our economy, our society, and for the planet. This Carbon Plan shows how, together, we can make it happen."

The Plan announced today includes a target to deliver zero carbon new homes from 2016 and zero carbon new non domestic buildings from 2019 and a much more flexible approach to reducing emissions - across housing tenure and type:
"There will be no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our homes. For instance, while most homes in the UK rely on gas boilers for their heating and hot water, there are also around 4.8 million homes that are not connected to the gas grid and that use other options, such as heating oil or electric heaters.16 While a rural farmhouse may benefit from improved loft insulation and installation of a ground source heat pump, a modern tower block might be able to reduce its emissions more cost effectively by fitting cavity wall insulation throughout and being connected to a form of network heating for all the flats in the block, even where this still relies on (more efficient) fossil fuel supply. Or, better still, the tower block could be connected to a source of heat from a local power station or a large source of renewable heat such as a biomass boiler. The Government’s aim is to set the right legal and financial framework and provide the right information to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from"
A key component of the Plan will be the so-called 'Green Deal'. As part of this from 2012 the households will be encouraged to invest, at no upfront cost, in home energy efficiency improvements that are expected to pay for themselves through energy bill savings. In Reading we are working across the Council to cut carbon emissions and householders energy bills - to benefit residents in across Council and private housing. We are piloting work to make Council housing more energy efficient by increasing insulation of properties and exploring sustainable energy solutions. In the private rented sector the Council supports private householders looking to cut emissions through grants and loans.
The work being done by ministers at national level will help us make real progress on this agenda for the benefit of residents including many families living in fuel poverty, as well as helping to safeguard the future of our Planet.

No comments:

Post a Comment