Government must 'turbocharge' national home insulation scheme, says Yorkshire Tory MP

Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney has called on the Government to "turbocharge" a national green homes scheme to help cut energy bills.

The Conservative MP said that while he welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak's decision in the Spring Statement to axe VAT on energy-efficiency products, he believed the Government can go further.

Mr Sunak has announced that the five per cent VAT rate on having energy-saving materials like solar panels, heat pumps and insulation installed is being cut to zero.

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Addressing Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Mr McCartney said: "I very much welcome the Chancellor scrapping VAT on home energy saving products in his Spring Statement last week but would my Right Honourable Friend agree with me that now really is the time to turbocharge a green homes programme? Let's insulate homes, let's help people cut their energy bills and keep warm."

Jason McCartney is urging the Government to introduce a new 'green homes' policy.

Mr Kwarteng replied: "Energy efficiency is at the centre of any net zero strategy. I'd be very happy to work with him to make sure we could provide progress."

Mr McCartney's remarks follow a similar call by Liberal Democrat peer and Kirklees councillor Baroness Kath Pinnock.

She has called for a national home insulation programme modelled on the one run in Kirklees in the 2000s which saw every household in the area provided with free loft and cavity wall insulation.In December, the Government was strongly criticised over the “slam dunk fail” of its past Green Homes Grant scheme.

The Public Accounts Committee said low take up of the scheme, offering up to £10,000 in funding to help pay for energy efficiency measures, was down to an “overly complex” with homeowners expected to identify a certified installer and apply for vouchers with the installer receiving the grant funding once they had fitted the measure.

By August 2021, more than half of the applications for funding had been rejected or withdrawn.

The Government’s recent Heat and Buildings Strategy has set out a package of measures to retrofit the nation's buildings.

In addition this the Government has announced more than £3.9 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings. This will fund the next three years of investment through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme.

A Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, which is why we have set out a generous £21bn package of support, and the energy price cap continues to insulate millions of customers from volatile global gas prices.

“We are also accelerating our progress in upgrading the energy efficiency of England’s homes, investing over £6.6bn billion to decarbonise homes and buildings and bringing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035.”

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