Labour has set out how it will create an energy market that works for consumers, overhaul the delivery of energy efficiency to provide improved value for money for taxpayers and bill-payers, and generate potential savings of £38 million a year from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in addition to one-off savings of £10 million over the Parliament, by cutting wasteful costs from nuclear decommissioning whilst maintaining a premium on safety.
Labour also announces that in Government, it will conduct an urgent review of the rollout of the smart meter programme, ensuring that bill payers get value for money, and that decisions are taken to unblock delays and ensure much-needed progress. This follows delays under this Government which threaten to increase the £10.9 billion costs of the programme, and stall progress against the target for all homes and businesses to have smart meters installed by 2020.
The savings were published in the 15th interim report as part of Labour’s Zero-Based Review of every pound spent by government. They include:
- Replacing the Energy Company Obligation with a levy on energy companies to fund local area-based energy efficiency programmes for 200,000 households in or at risk of fuel poverty a year;
- Scrapping the Government’s wasteful £300 million Green Deal Home Improvements Fund and switching this spending to help provide up to 1 million interest-free loans for energy efficiency in the next Parliament;
- Saving approximately £24 million a year by ending lucrative consultancy arrangements and bearing down on executive pay deals and fees under the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority;
- Saving a minimum of £14 million a year by reducing administration costs across the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in line with those of other public bodies that rely on commercial expertise or manage complex commercial contracts; and
- Carrying out an urgent value for money review to raise £10 million over the next Parliament through the sale of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s non-essential assets, such as non-operational land and properties.
Labour will build a strong economic foundation by balancing the books and cutting the deficit every year, with a surplus on the current budget and national debt falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament.
The interim Zero-Based Review of the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows how the Tory-led coalition has failed to stand up to the big energy companies, tackle fuel poverty and cold homes, secure greater investment in energy, and ensure value for money from every part of the Department.
Caroline Flint said: “Under the Tories’ failing plan, energy bills are £300 a year higher. Labour has a better plan to help more households improve their energy efficiency and to ensure the smart meter rollout genuinely works for consumers and delivers value for money.
“Labour’s interim Zero-Based Review identifies potential annual savings of £38 million from the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s budget, in addition to one-off savings of £10 million over the next Parliament. Tackling the UK’s long-term nuclear waste safely and effectively will remain an absolute priority under a Labour Government. However, we will get a grip on costs at the NDA and end the era of lucrative management consultancy costs and fees. And we will consider whether it is necessary for the NDA to continue to sit on a portfolio of surplus land and properties, eating up staff time and costs which could be better used elsewhere.”
The document is available here, alongside other interim Zero-Based Reviews.
Labour has set out how it will create an energy market that works for consumers, overhaul the delivery of energy efficiency to provide improved value for money for taxpayers and...
Caroline Flint appeared on the BBC's General Election 2015 Environment and Climate Change Debate, going head-to-head with the other parties and setting out Labour's commitments on climate change, energy bills and...
Labour is today (Monday 20 April) launching its Green Plan, setting out its environment and climate change policies for the next Labour Government.
- The plan comes nine years to the day from David Cameron’s infamous husky-hugging trip to the Arctic.
The parties will also today go head-to-head as Labour’s Caroline Flint challenges the Tories and Liberal Democrats on their environmental record in a five-way TV debate with UKIP and the Greens, organised as part of the BBC Daily Politics election debates series.
Labour’s Green Plan includes:
- Setting a legally binding target to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030.
Delivering energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over ten years.
- Creating a million new green jobs by 2025.
- Giving the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers.
Introducing a new domestic climate change adaptation programme to protect homes and businesses from extreme weather.
- Developing a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature with clear five year milestones to measure progress.
- Planting new woodland and trees closer to where people live.
- Protecting the public forest estate from Tory privatisation.
By contrast, an analysis of the Conservatives’ manifesto reveals:
- They have categorically ruled out setting a decarbonisation target – rejecting advice from the independent Committee on Climate Change, who say that cuts to emissions from electricity are needed to keep the UK on track to meet its climate change targets.
- Their energy policy has been attacked by the renewables industry as “breathtakingly illogical and therefore idiotic”.
- They failed to categorically rule out privatisation of the forests – their manifesto simply pledged to keep them in a trust for a nation, which has already been criticised for leaving the back door open to privatisation.
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said:
“Building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature. The aims we have championed throughout our history - from decent living standards for working people, to care for the vulnerable, and a route out of poverty for those in the developing world, are all at risk from spiralling global temperatures.
“The last Labour government was the first in the world to put carbon reduction targets into law, spurring investment and creating markets for thousands of British companies. The next Labour government will commit Britain to decarbonising our electricity supply by 2030 to give business certainty to invest so we can create a million green jobs over the next decade and invest in green technology and green infrastructure to power Britain’s economy forward into the future.”
Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said:
“Every radical, reforming Labour Government has extended public access to nature and safeguarded our environment for future generations to cherish and enjoy. With this plan, we aspire to do the same.
“Nature and the power it has to sustain economies and nourish all life should not be preserved just for a privileged few. The last Labour government championed the right to roam which opened up new land and provided increased access to our countryside and coast. The next Labour government will develop a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature, protect the public forest estate and bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where people live.”
You can read the plan here.
Labour is today (Monday 20 April) launching its Green Plan, setting out its environment and climate change policies for the next Labour Government. The plan comes nine years to the...