26/04/2012

Durkan Joins Energy Bill Revolution

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has joined over 100 MPs in support of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign which is calling on the government to spend carbon tax revenue on energy efficiency programmes in order to make homes super-energy efficient – not least here in Derry and throughout the North.

The campaign offers the most effective solution to bring down household energy bills and end fuel poverty.

The government will raise an average of £4 billion in carbon taxes every year from the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Floor Price. It is enough, for example, to provide £6,500 to 600,000 fuel poor homes every year to make their homes highly energy efficient. It is enough to bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty. It could also generate up to 200,000 jobs and save four times more carbon emissions than the government’s new energy efficiency policies.

New research for the Energy Bill Revolution, funded by the Cooperative Group and Consumer Focus, revealed that fuel poverty could affect 9.1 million households by 2016, the year in which the government has a target to eliminate fuel poverty. This is a potential rise of 40% which would increase the number of households in fuel poverty from one in four to one in three.

Mr Durkan said: "There is a compelling logic to channelling carbon tax revenue to energy efficiency in fuel poor homes. It would allow energy conservation, social justice, constructive local employment and responsibly targeted taxation all rhyme in one policy measure.

"It scores on principle, practicality and productivity and would offer results for poorer households, the green economy and tax justification."

Ed Matthew, Director of Transform UK, the organisation which is coordinating the campaign said: "In only one month this campaign has attracted the support of over 100 MPs from across the political spectrum. These MPs understand that recycling carbon tax back to households offers the best hope for their constituents to slash their energy bills. It is scandalous that anyone in a developed country should face the choice of whether to buy food or heat their home. From next year the government will have the money to end the blight of fuel poverty. This is the most fair and just solution and we hope all MPs will join with Mark Durkan in supporting it."

(CD/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 December 2002
Claimants warned to apply early for winter fuel payments
The government has warned people who believe are eligible for Winter Fuel Payments to contact the government's helpline to ensure they can benefit from the scheme. Anyone reaching age 60 or over during the week 16-22 September 2002 will usually be entitled to a Winter Fuel Payments of £200.
01 April 2010
Energy Cost Cut 'Suits' Mens Outfitter
Independent clothing company Bogart Menswear is one of the latest retailers to benefit from green energy savings having moved to a renewable energy supply from Energia. Established for over 30 years in Ann Street Belfast, the Bogart chain also comprises a store in Newry and a recently opened flagship store in Belfast City Centre.
07 September 2011
Thousands Of Families Face Fuel Poverty
A shocking 75,000 NI households are living in severe fuel poverty by recognised national standards. Yesterday, the Stormont Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland (pictured) welcomed the publication of a report by the University of Ulster entitled 'Defining Fuel Poverty in Northern Ireland: A Preliminary Review'.
20 January 2011
Renewable Energy Gets Powerful Boost
A new association is being formed today aimed at expanding the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind power. The Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG), which represents the collective voices of Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) and RenewableUK in Northern Ireland, was officially launched on Thursday.
03 September 2009
Wind Is 'Foundation' Of Renewable Sector
Wind energy could form the bedrock for achieving Northern Ireland's renewable energy targets, the Environment Minister has said. Speaker at the Irish Wind Energy Association Workshop in Belfast, Edwin Poots reaffirmed his support for the wind industry and all other renewable energy technologies.