With many householders across the Borough of Eastleigh, and more widely across the UK, furious at the latest round of super-inflationary energy price increases, Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavillion, has spoken about the problem of rising energy bills and the relationship between the Government and the “Big Six” energy companies.
Commenting on the annual energy statement, Caroline Lucas MP accused the Government of not being serious about breaking the stranglehold of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies [British Gas, EDF, E.On, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE], and called for serious investment in energy efficiency to cut bills and address climate change.
The Green MP said:
“Being told to switch isn’t much use when the odds are totally rigged in favour of a handful of big companies.”
“If the Government were serious about breaking the stranglehold of the Big Six, it would be supporting locally owned energy projects. It’s quite shocking that the Energy Secretary’s announcement contained no mention of community energy.”
” Support for community and co-operatively owned renewable schemes, where people benefit from generating their own power, is pathetically poor compared to the lavish subsidy the nuclear industry has just received.”
“We need serious investment in energy efficiency, with Government action to ensure that every home is properly insulated. ”
“Making our housing stock much more energy efficient would help tackle climate change, cut bills, bring nine out of ten homes out of fuel poverty, and create hundreds of thousands of green jobs.”
“We also need to address our dependence on gas, which is the underlying reason people are seeing higher bills. Until we move away from fossil fuels towards a low-carbon future, no amount of tinkering around the edges of our flawed market will help consumers.”
“Addressing the enormous risks that climate change presents to people in the UK and elsewhere means keeping the vast majority of existing fossil fuels in the ground. Yet ministers continue to listen to fossil fuel lobbyists rather than climate scientists.”
Lucas also criticised the close links between Government and the Big Six energy companies, saying:
“It might be easier to take the Energy Secretary’s outrage seriously if dozens of employees from the Big Six were not working inside his department, often paid for by taxpayers. ”
“He should be taking action to close the revolving door – which was wedged open under the previous Government too – between Whitehall and the vested interests of the big energy companies.”
Meanwhile, back in Eastleigh, two Green Deal Assessors have recently started work for the Council.
The Government’s Green Deal scheme was one of Eastleigh’s former MP, Chris Huhne’s achievements whilst Energy Secretary. Implemented at a local level, Solent Green Deal is intended to help people implement home improvements which will improve the energy-efficiency of their household.
There is no upfront cost to the householder and in some cases it will be free of charge. Once your home improvements have been installed there is a small repayment each month to cover this cost, which is repaid as part of your energy bills.
The Solent Green Deal comprises Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and Winchester City Council and is supported by PUSH, the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire.
Solent Green Deal Assessor James Penders said,
“We have already completed dozens of green deal assessments across the borough. With winter coming and energy prices rising now is the time to have your Green Deal assessment done to help reduce the amount of energy you use, understand your energy bills and see which measures will reduce your costs.“
Householders can fill in the Green Deal Wizard on the Solent Green Deal website to find out what improvements they could have in their home and how much they could save on their bills. They can then register their details and request an assessment.