Cold Homes Week: it's time for an Energy Bill Revolution
5th February 2014
Last night saw the Parliamentary Reception for Cold Homes Week, hosted by the Energy Bill Revolution, Age UK and Barnardo’s. Cold Homes Week aims to raise awareness about the experiences of those in fuel poverty, and to obtain political support for the campaign to improve the efficiency of UK homes.
Keep Britain Tidy has been a long-standing member of the alliance supporting the Energy Bill Revolution, and representatives of Keep Britain Tidy’s Top10 Energy Efficiency Guide were pleased to be in attendance at the event. In total, 90 MPs showed their support – donning scarves knitted by alliance members (including some knitted by Keep Britain Tidy staff!) and mingling with a huge variety of supporters from the private, public and third sectors.
KBT’s donation of lovingly-knitted scarves
Short speeches from the three host organizations, chaired by Alan Whitehead MP, a long-standing campaigner on fuel poverty, highlighted the growing and wide-ranging issues associated with fuel poverty. Amongst the startling statistics, including that there were over 30,000 excess winter deaths last year, a few more prosaic points stood out:
- Fuel poverty is not simply a problem that affects the elderly – it affects all ages, from young people in low-paid jobs, to new homeowners and single parents;
- Social impacts can be as severe as health impacts, but they are harder to quantify. Simply having a colder house can make family and friends less likely to visit, exacerbating problems of isolation and loneliness;
- The onus cannot be on homeowners to find the money for efficiency improvements, even through loan schemes like the Green Deal. Diverting Carbon Taxes into a stable income stream to subsidise home improvements is the key to achieving meaningful change and would bring environmental, social and economic benefits.
Following the talks, we were pleased to see that Martyn Williams from the Energy Bill Revolution had shown excellent taste by picking out a Keep Britain Tidy knitted scarf to wear.
Olly Wright from Top10 and Martyn Williams from the Energy Bill Revolution, in an old football scarf and a Keep Britain Tidy hand-knitted scarf respectively. (Photo: Luting Huang)
So, how does all this relate to the Top10 Energy Efficiency Guide? Through promoting the most efficient appliances, we aim to help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The Energy Bill Revolution has the same aim – and by tackling the problem of heating and insulation directly, it also addresses the social and economic issues that go hand in hand with the environmental benefits of energy efficiency.
The Energy Bill Revolution is growing, but your support is still needed. See how you or your organisation can get involved here.