Lib Dems call for energy-saving DIY

The Liberal Democrats are attempting to portray themselves as the ‘greenest’ of the three major parties, with a new initiative designed to improve household energy efficiency.

Under the banner ‘climate change begins at home’ the Liberal Democrats are calling on UK homeowners to upgrade their properties to improve energy efficiency, leading to reduced carbon emissions and lower energy bills.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for all new homes to be built to improved environmental standards. But, upgrading existing homes will be key to meeting energy requirements, the party maintains.

To fund the improvements, the Lib Dems are calling for ‘energy mortgages’ – long-terms loans secured against the property and partially funding through reduced energy bills.

Arguing the importance of the scheme, Menzies Campbell said: “Tackling climate change requires us to take action now – the Stern Review made it clear that we simply cannot afford to wait.

“People are paying high fuel bills because their homes too easily lose energy. These proposals will help people save the environment and cut bills.”

Houses are responsible for 27 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions. Green campaigners claim this is excessive, pointing to Sweden, where this figure is less than five per cent despite a colder climate.

Adopting Swedish standards of household emissions would save Britons £385 a year in bills, the Liberal Democrats claim.

Environment spokesman Chris Huhne insisted that insulation packages would be effective.

“With an ‘energy mortgage’, proven improvements will deliver real energy cuts, that will pay for themselves and save money in the long term, and will be accessible to everyone,” he said.

“Building new homes to tough, rigorously enforced standards, would significantly cut fuel bills and effectively pay for itself, making homes more affordable for first time buyers.”