Social Housing: Energy Efficiency

Energy Security and Net Zero – in the House of Commons am ar 21 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Ceidwadwyr, New Forest West

What steps she is taking to help improve energy efficiency in social housing.

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

The social housing decarbonisation fund is upgrading to EPC C a significant amount of the social housing stock that is currently below that standard. We have already committed over £1 billion of Government funding, with a further £1.25 billion already committed for 2025 to 2028.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Ceidwadwyr, New Forest West

By how much has the Minister increased the level of insulation, and what significance does she attach to it?

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

I thank my right hon. Friend for his brevity, as always. The amount of social housing that is well insulated has gone up from just 24% in 2010 to 70% today. For housing overall, we have gone from just 14% in 2010 to 50% today.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Llafur, Exeter

I welcome, through the Minister, the admission by the Secretary of State last week finally that this flagship scheme is failing, although the words she used were that it has been

“a bit slow on the uptake”.

They have had 14 years to devise the most cost-effective way of reducing carbon emissions and people’s bills, making homes warmer and creating good new skilled jobs. When will we have a scheme that actually works?

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

I respectfully say to the right hon. Gentleman that we do have schemes that are working. I remind him that the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has launched a £1 billion Great British installation scheme, which aims to upgrade around 300,000 of the country’s least energy-efficient homes.

Photo of Dave Doogan Dave Doogan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy Security and Net Zero)

The Scottish Government are working at pace to replace polluting heating systems and improve energy efficiency in Scotland’s building stock, with £1.8 billion being invested in this parliamentary Session towards heat and energy efficiency measures and £600 million towards new affordable housing. With the Climate Change Committee stating that the Scottish Government’s heat in buildings Bill could become the template for the UK, helping Scotland to decarbonise faster than anywhere else in the UK, would the Minister like to visit the Scottish Government in Edinburgh? I can arrange that for her, so that she can see climate leadership in action.

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

I reiterate that energy efficiency is incredibly important to us on the Government Benches and to the Government. I would be happy to come on a visit to Edinburgh. Indeed, I have already visited there.

Photo of Dave Doogan Dave Doogan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy Security and Net Zero)

Slightly more enthusiasm might have been welcomed by people living in England in cold and draughty houses. Nevertheless, it is not simply our extensive ambition that leaves the UK behind Scotland, but our delivery, too. Since 2007—[Interruption.] Those on the Government Benches might want to listen to this. Since 2007, per person, the SNP has built 40% more homes than Tory England and 70% more homes than Labour Wales and ensured 65% of the Scottish social rented sector has an energy performance certificate rating of C or above. Insulation levels in Scotland are way higher than in England. It is clear that the UK Government have materially failed to abate the demand side of the energy system to any meaningful extent. What will the Minister do, in the few weeks they have left in office, to atone for this glaring betrayal of bill payers?

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

Unlike the hon. Gentleman, we have not abandoned our targets, and there has been good progress and improved household energy efficiency. Around half of our homes—48% in England—have now reached the Government’s 2035 target of achieving an EPC rating of C, up from 14% in 2010.