PM's energy-saving measures face criticism

The ACE has voiced concerns that the latest energy-saving measures announced by Gordon Brown this week will not address the immediate problem of soaring energy costs.

At a press conference this week, the Prime Minister announced that the top energy companies have agreed to fund £910m worth of measures aimed at helping people cope with escalating energy costs.

This will include half price insulation for all households, free cavity wall and loft insulation for pensioners and poor households and a freeze on this year’s bills for around half a million consumers.

Jenny Holland, Parliamentary co-ordinator for the trade group Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), voiced her criticisms on the fuel package, describing them as a “slap in the face” for the 4.5m households the ACE claims are suffering from “fuel poverty”.

Holland commented: “We have long argued that the Government is failing in its legal duty to eradicate fuel poverty. Today’s announcement has done nothing to change our view. We are urgently calling for the Government to set up an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce to kick-start a proper, co-ordinated approach to ending fuel poverty.

"While welcoming the new £910 million of investment by energy suppliers in more energy efficiency measures for households, ACE is calling on the Government to put its hand in its own pocket to stop our homes leaking heat through their roofs, walls and windows.”

The Prime Minister argued against a potential cash rebate paid for by a windfall tax on the energy firms’ profits, saying the new plan offered a “better way” and long-lasting benefits.