Is the Government Doing Enough to Be Green?
Author: Amy Catlow
Published: Tuesday, 31 May 2011
The UK's coalition government has made some progress towards positioning itself as Britain's 'greenest government' ever. A recently finalised Energy Bill, commits Britain to drastic reduction in carbon emissions over the next 2 decades and could revolutionise the way as a nation we manufacture, live and travel. The bill is ambitious in its reach and currently the UK is leading the charge in the global pledges made to halt climate change.
As part of the bill, the government are putting aside a fund of money designated for energy efficient improvements to be made to over 14 million households across the country. Over 25% of carbon emissions are attributed to homes and buildings across the UK. Poor insulation, ineffecient or ageing central heating systems, draughty doors and windows are all eligible for replacement under the scheme.
The Energy Bill also commits the UK to produce up to 35% of its total electricity from renewable sources such as solar energy or wind power, by 2020. Currently home owners and businesses who install solar pv panels or wind turbines can benefit from the Feed in Tariff scheme. The scheme means homeowners experience reduced energy bills and receive 43.3p for every KW of energy produced from their grid providing energy company. Any excess energy produced can also be sold to the energy company at a higher rate. The scheme makes means that homeowners with large south facing roof space could make around £1,000 a year in energy savings and energy production. In times of economic downturn, this is an excellent return. This tariff has been agreed for 25 years.
The only trouble with the Feed in Tariff scheme seems to be that not enough people know about it. The government has not promoted the benefits at either a local or national level and so many people are sceptical about the fine print and the cost of outlay in the first place. The govenernment has not publicized how the funds for home improvements will be distributed or where the funds are coming. At a time of stringent cuts, this is perhaps a sign of politics at work, (people want jobs not double glazing) but these progressive ideas should be shouted about. It looks like UK could have the 'greenest government' ever, but that no one knew about it.