UNISON launched its own solution to the energy crisis today, at the union’s energy conference in Brighton.
The aims of the union’s “holistic approach” to domestic energy efficiency, said energy national officer Matthew Lay, included ”eradicating fuel poverty, reducing the reliance on imported gas and investing in jobs”.
The document, Warm homes into the future: meeting the UK’s energy challenges, states that:
- five million households are suffering from fuel poverty;
- the UK has the oldest housing stock in Europe;
- spending on energy in UK households has doubled since 2003, from £15bn to £32bn;
- the country is “fast running out” of indigenous gas supply and by 2020 may need to import as much as 70% of demand.
“UNISON is demanding change and serious action now,” the document says, while accusing the government of failing to deal with the extent of the challenge.
The union’s action plan for the government includes ensuring that every UK home is classified according to its Energy Performance Certificate, via a free, national door-to-door assessment programme.
Low income households should receive remedial works free at the point of delivery, capped at £10,000. Those not classed as low income should be able to access an interest-free loan, repayable over 10 years.