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Light subsidies scrapped in favour of insulation

The Government is to stop the subsidy of energy saving bulbs from next March because it wants to focus on insulation.
Climate change secretary Chris Huhne is demanding that the energy suppliers stop promoting compact fluorescent bulbs in DIY stores and supermarkets in order to prioritise more traditional methods of energy-saving, such as insulation.

The next session of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme, which will run from March 2011 to December 2012, will see the subsidies scrapped. The move is designed to prioritise the insulation of UK homes, with energy suppliers now forced to spend money on promoting professionally installed loft, cavity and solid wall insulation.

According to Huhne, 15% of homes helped by the new scheme will be the lowest income households – those that are more at risk of fuel poverty.

He said: “Our plans will give a huge boost to the insulation industry during the economic recovery as we pave the way for the start of the Green Deal. This is the beginning of a massive and urgent increase in home energy insulation for the nation. We are demanding that energy companies work harder to make homes warmer, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run, especially for those who need it most.”

The minister added that some UK households could save as much as £550 a year by properly insulating their homes and that some 3.5m more homes across Great Britain are likely to benefit under the scheme. This builds substantially on the 2.5m homes treated under the scheme since April 2008.

National Insulation Association chief executive Neil Marshall said: “We welcome this bold move by Government and recognition of the critical role that insulation has to play in reducing energy bills and tackling climate change. The introduction of a minimum level of insulation that must be carried out by the energy suppliers along with other changes such as stopping the promotion of CFLs will ensure there is a major increase in the amount of insulation undertaken.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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