Taking into consideration the "Winter Fuel Payments" paid to 11.7m people over 60 years in age, which costs a further £2 billion pounds. A total of £3 billion is effectively subsidising energy, making it cheaper, less expensive to use. In times when we should be reducing energy, friend of the blog and chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, Philip Sellwood, believes that this money would be better spent and more effectively in terms of energy reduction and environmental benefit (not to mention the 17.5% return to the government from VAT, instead of the 5% on fuel), if this money was invested into energy saving measures.
For example, £3 billion could easily insulate every cavity wall in the country. Saving those householders £720m a year, every year (without inflation of energy costs), saving 4.8m tonnes of CO2 annually.
Philip Sellwood posted his own back of envelope savings on his blog;
Our own stats show that with £150, a householder could:
Draught proof an entire house, saving around £25 a year with an outlay of around £90.
Buy a hot water tank jacket, saving around £20 per year, with an outlay of just £12.
Fully insulate all pipe work, saving around £9 per year, with an outlay of just £9.
Replacing existing light bulbs with energy saving ones. With a typical cost of around £3 per bulb it would be possible to replace every light bulb in the house. This could save around £45 a year or £600 over the lifetime of the bulbs!
My maths was never much good, but even I can see that by spending this £150 on energy saving measures means saving around £100 this year, next year, the year after....well, you get my drift!
The scheme has not yet been given final approval. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) confirmed that further help with fuel bills was being considered, but insisted no decisions had been taken. So now is the time to get it right, and make positive changes, so that the money makes a return socially, environmentally, and of course politically.
33GW by 2020
Energy Saving Tips
Winter Fuel Saving Tips