(Bloomberg) -- The UK is failing to do enough to improve energy efficiency, which is needed to curb struggling households’ soaring bills, a parliamentary committee found.
Government ministers must prioritize upgrading the country’s leaky housing, the Environmental Audit Committee’s Thursday report said. That includes setting a goal of at least 1 million energy-saving improvements like insulation, solar panels or heat pumps a year by 2025 and 2.5 million a year by the end of the decade. It also advised that all properties should reach the top three — of seven — energy-efficiency tiers by 2035.
Those initiatives would help consumers spend less on energy bills, which have rocketed since Russia squeezed supplies to Europe. Longer term, it would also reduce the country’s reliance on imports of gas.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt pledged £6 billion to insulate homes and upgrade boilers in his budget last year. However, ministers have tried several energy-efficiency programs over the past decade that haven’t achieved mass roll-out. The report said one of the more recent ones, the Green Homes Grant, was “administered shambolically.”
Separately, data from the Office for National Statistics showed 3% to 4% of households in some London boroughs have no central heating. That means homes have to rely on more expensive ways to warm up, made worse by leaky housing.
Read more: London homes on par with most impoverished UK areas for heating.
“2023 must be the year that the UK government moves from disorder to delivery on home retrofits - ramping up funding, regulations, skills and training to fulfill the true potential on offer,” said Juliet Phillips, senior policy adviser, at think tank E3G.
(Updates with details on London heating in fifth paragraph.)
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