Backing an ambitious energy efficiency programme to support jobs and cut household bills

I am giving my full support to an energy efficiency programme which could support nearly three hundred jobs and cut household energy bills in the constituency following research by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG).

As we seek to rebuild our economy after the pandemic we must find ways to ensure our nation is more prepared for future shocks. A green recovery is not just economically sensible and a quick way to create new jobs following the lockdown, it also makes environmental threats to our economy, like climate change, less likely to happen. Now more than ever, we must not lose sight of our ambitions to level up the whole country, or our commitment to bring the UK’s contribution to climate change to an end by 2050. One green measure that could really help the economic recovery in Thirsk and Malton is an energy efficiency scheme. A nationwide programme to upgrade our homes and public buildings with insulation and modern, clean energy sources could create lasting, high-skilled jobs, whilst also slashing household bills, saving vulnerable lives in winter, and reducing our carbon footprint. Many more of us are working from home now, and when we go back into winter we’ll start noticing our more expensive heating bills as a result. Better insulated homes waste less energy. That means lower bills and lower emissions from wasted heat.

The research has shown that there are currently 5,000 households in Thirsk and Malton which suffer from fuel poverty and 35,000 with an EPC rating lower than C. The MP said that these households should be prioritised for any energy efficiency scheme. Mr Hollinrake wants to see these homes upgraded to retain their heat using a mixture of government incentives, low-cost loans, and tax breaks. The research also found that ensuring all homes reach a good energy efficiency level would save the average household £270 per year and increase property value. The value added would amount to £52.4 million per year across Thirsk and Malton once all homes are improved, with an annual net gross added of £6.3 million. The report says that it could help many local construction businesses, which are struggling at the moment due to the lockdown. This could support up to 300 jobs, which would spread the benefits even further.

As a member of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) I coordinated a letter from CEN MPs to the Chancellor earlier this year calling for a range of green measures to be included in the Budget, including an extension of the grant schemes for low-carbon heating and for electric vehicles and he also campaigned successfully for the Government to run an auction for onshore wind and solar. These are expected to take place next year.

Making energy efficiency a key part of the economic recovery is a win-win which would quickly secure jobs in our community whilst reducing our carbon emissions. That’s why as part of its recovery package I shall urge ministers to invest in an energy efficiency programme that will bring huge benefits to Thirsk and Malton.