Saturday, 15 November 2014

Tackling the scandal of cold homes

I am incredibly proud that Labour has pledged to end the scandal of cold homes – an issue which I have campaigned on consistently since being elected. The pledge to make at least five million homes more energy efficiency, follows our commitment to freeze energy prices up to 2017 while reforming the energy market.


Energy bills have increased by a staggering £300 in the past four years. Investing in energy efficiency is the best way to keep bills down and to lift people out of fuel poverty. In our constituency there are currently 5,088 households living in fuel poverty – this is a scandal and it has to stop. That is 13.1% of the constituency – well above the North West Average and the UK Average.


This commitment to help low income and fuel poor families across Haslingden and Hyndburn will save households on average, an estimated £270. Moreover, with some of the poorest insulation and hard to treat properties in the UK, this could save householders in Haslingden and Hyndburn even more.


Under a Labour Government, at least five million homes will be made more energy efficient over the next 10 years – cutting heat loss and bills for low income families. Labour will also provide half a million personalised home energy reports a year as well as offering up to one million interest-free loans to cover the costs of energy efficiency during the next Parliament.


I recently held a debate in Parliament on the issue of energy efficiency, where I made the point that this Government's ever-changing, inconsistent and contradictory energy policies have essentially let the energy companies off the hook by no longer forcing them to pay for energy efficiency measures for households in need. I am very proud that under a Labour Government, real action will be taken.