Reducing carbon emissions and lifting home owners out of fuel poverty traps were central to the development of Green Deal. Reducing CO2 through Green Deal was part of the government’s fourth Carbon Budget to deliver the Climate Change Act 2008.
Yet amidst all the financial assessment and standards debates over the last 12 months, these drivers seem to have taken second place.
I have commented elsewhere that if the Government were serious on these two aims they would fund home improvements directly, rather than through complex repayment schemes. In addition to reducing CO2 it would of course create employment and have other financial spending knock ons. After all if our social housing stock was still within local council or government control would this not be the approach taken?
Good then to see the report and study from Consumer Focus, showing that a Government carbon tax based energy efficiency infrastructure investment could:
- Generate up to 71,000 jobs and boost GDP by 0.2% by 2015 and create up to 130,000 jobs by 2027.
- Lift up to nine out of ten households out of fuel poverty, reducing energy bills in all treated homes by at least £200 per year
- Cut household energy consumption by 5.4 per cent by 2027 and quadruple the impact of the government’s energy savings schemes – Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation
- Cut overall carbon emissions by 1.1 per cent, including household emissions reduced by around 5.6% by 2027
Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive at Consumer Focus, said: Using carbon taxes to ensure our homes leak less energy represents a triple-whammy. This would simultaneously improve the quality of life of millions of people, slash carbon emissions and generate greater economic growth than other measures.
Government has the opportunity to use the large and stable revenues from carbon taxes to deliver the most breathtaking and transformative energy efficiency scheme that we have ever seen.’
But why wait? This could be a hugely powerful CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, opportunity. Construction projects and organisations could voluntarily offset CO2 emissions (if offset is the right word here) by improving the energy performance of badly insulated homes and families trapped in fuel poverty, within their community or neighbourhoods.
A rough calculation shows that if we value carbon tax at 20/tonne, a carbon tax scheme or voluntary CSR scheme would generate 2000 for each million of construction value, (based on Constructco2 construction project emissions)
Certainly enough to improve a good number of fuel poverty trap homes across the UK