Insulation Nation: The roadmap to a future of affordable energy bills
Gas prices have risen to unprecedented levels, making energy bills increasingly unaffordable. With little end in sight, we need to make sure households are protected against continuing volatility in the gas market.
War in the Ukraine and global pressures on the gas markets led to August gas prices peakings at 20 times higher than the same day in 2020. Predictions suggest prices could remain high for the next few years and households are bearing the brunt. Our research indicates that the average consumer will only have around £200 left for unexpected expenses after accounting for additional energy costs. The government has announced plans to freeze average energy costs at £2,500 for the next 2 years, at an estimated cost of £130 billion. While this is essential support for consumers struggling through the cost of living crisis this winter, it does little to prevent us being in the same position in winters to come.
Consumers in the UK use more gas for heating their homes than almost all other countries in Western Europe. This has left the UK particularly exposed to fluctuating gas prices, and has significantly contributed to economy-wide inflation. To protect households from the knock-on effects of future price hikes we need to drastically improve the energy efficiency of our homes.
Years of low home insulation rates have left us ill-prepared for a winter of high energy prices. Successive energy efficiency policies have failed to enable people to invest in energy efficiency in their homes. Making our homes more energy efficient has never been more crucial, with those in the least efficient homes able to save nearly £950 a year. Insulating homes will be essential to prevent the government from needing to subsidise bills for winters to come.
This report will outline how households across England and Wales can benefit from energy efficiency measures and weather the cost of living crisis.