Investing the funds that are raised as a result of carbon taxing into a major energy efficiency program could boost the economy and create jobs, as well as dealing with the original issue — energy efficiency. This is according to a new report published by British statutory consumer organisation, Consumer Focus.
The research shows that significant government energy efficiency infrastructure investment could:
- Generate up to 71,000 jobs and boost GDP by 0.2 per cent3 by 2015 and create up to 130,000 jobs by 2027.
- Lift up to nine out of ten households out of fuel poverty, reducing energy bills in all treated homes by at least £200 per year.
- Cut household energy consumption by 5.4 per cent by 2027 and quadruple the impact of the government’s energy savings schemes – Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.
- Cut overall carbon emissions by 1.1 per cent, including household emissions reduced by around 5.6% by 2027.
“We need to make heating our homes more affordable, cut carbon emissions and achieve economic growth,” said Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive at Consumer Focus. “Using carbon taxes to ensure our homes leak less energy represents a triple-whammy. This would simultaneously improve the quality of life of millions of people, slash carbon emissions and generate greater economic growth than other measures. Consumers will be paying these taxes through their bills. They can and should feel the benefit.”
Investing funds in an energy efficiency program would provide several bonuses that other options simply cannot match. In addition to creating a cleaner energy system, such a program would be fast to mobilise, and would stimulate economic activity and create jobs across the whole of the United Kingdom. Such a program would employ workers in construction and parallel sectors, industries which have been particularly hard-hit by the recent economic recession.
On top of all of this, investing in energy efficiency would be less likely to ‘crowd out’ alternative economic activity, and would reduce the National Health Service’s expenditure on treating cold-related illnesses prevented by heating and enhanced by pollution.
Of course, with any energy efficiency scheme, there is a direct impact on fuel poverty, an issue affecting over six million UK households, a number that is expected to continue to grow as the energy prices continue to soar.
“Fuel poverty leaves millions of households having to cut back on essentials like food and heating to make ends meet,” O’Connor continued. “The Government’s current energy efficiency and fuel poverty plans will only touch the tip of this iceberg. However, Government has the opportunity to use the large and stable revenues from carbon taxes to deliver the most breathtaking and transformative energy efficiency scheme that we have ever seen.”
“The Energy Bill Revolution is the biggest fuel poverty alliance that has ever been formed in the UK,” added Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign. “We are united by our conviction that there is a financial solution which can end the suffering and generate more jobs than any equivalent investment. This is the Marshall Plan the UK needs to slash the energy bills of the most vulnerable and re-build the economy.”
Source: Consumer Focus
Image Source: Leo Reynolds (some rights reserved)
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