A recent analysis has found that energy efficiency measures have saved British households an average of £1,000 a year in energy bills (Guardian, 2022).
The energy price cap is forecast to rise in April, from £1,300 to £2,000 for an average British household, due to the gas crisis. However, according to the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), analysis findings show that bills were likely to be around £3,000 a year if it were not for a range of regulatory measures that have brought down energy use in the last two decades.
RAP states that energy consumption has declined by 16% since 2000, despite a 15% increase in the number of homes. Electrical appliances, including fridges and washing machines, now use much less power than they did 20 years ago, due to EU directives. This, alongside a 2005 UK government regulation mandating the use of condensing boilers, has significantly reduced gas use in homes.
However, despite the reported savings, Jan Rosenow, Director of European programmes at RAP, states that government failings in the past decade have limited the possibility of further cost savings for British households. The Guardian reports that at least 14 million households have missed out on insulation due to the abandonment of the Green Deal Scheme (set up in 2013 and scrapped in 2015). Failure to keep up consistent action on insulation is a missed opportunity, but one that could still be actioned to further reduce energy bills. The analysis shows that a focus on insulation and further home improvements has the potential to reduce household bills by a further 50%.
“You can’t get to net zero without insulation. It’s impossible, it would be far too expensive and impractical.” – Jan Rosenow
The Government has responded to the analysis and has emphasised Government investments into energy efficiency measures, including investing over £6.6bn to decarbonise homes and buildings and bringing in higher minimum performance standards to help reduce energy bills.
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