“Joker burning money”
The Prime Minister has announced a £1 billion energy package that could help households across the UK save more than £300 a year on their energy bills.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Mr Brown said the Government will legislate to channel £910 million from energy companies into energy-saving initiatives such as providing loft insulation and cavity wall insulation free of charge to elderly and low-income households and at a 50 percent discount to others.
Cash will also be pumped into a new Community Energy Saving Programme that will provide up to 90,000 homes with targeted advice on improving their energy efficiency and reducing their bills.
The Prime Minister said he did not expect energy companies to pass these costs back to consumers through future prices. Business Secretary John Hutton added that the Government “will not hesitate to intervene” should an Ofgem review suggest that consumers were getting a raw deal.
Mr Brown said the Home Energy Saving Programme would help drive “lasting change” in UK energy efficiency and consumption. Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, also at the press conference, said that each household could save £100 through loft installation and £150 through cavity wall installation in just 12 months.
Other Government plans to help people with their fuel bills include negotiating lower tariffs with energy companies for up to 600,000 homes, increasing cold weather payments from £8.50 to £25 per week in severe conditions and providing cash on top of Winter Fuel payments to the over-60s and over-80s of £50 and £100 respectively.
In common with all other Government initiatives it would be of great benefit and interest to people if they had an indication of how much of the allocated funds would actually be spent on the materials and how much on labour costs.
For instance, when the Government says that it is spending an additional £20 million on education – that could mean any number of things. It could mean more teachers or it could mean lots of electronic blackboards. It could mean more books or it could mean a lick of paint.
Every £1000 spent on loft insulation could mean either 100 lofts insulated at £10 each or possibly one loft at £100, i.e £10 for the insulating material and £90 for labour charges by the local council.
90,000 homes are to be provided with ” targetted advice on improving their energy efficiency and reducing their bills”. Does that mean leaflets? Home visits by several more sub-strata of public servant?
Has the Government thought this one through as thoroughly as all the other initiatives?
Oh what’s this?
“Sorry, no thanks. It’s too late…… Siobhain McDonagh? Nope. Don’t recall the name. I seem to recall a Junior Whip by that name – but that was a long time ago…..Yesterday, I think.” (Thinks) “I wonder what else is heading for the fan? “