Insulate, insulate, insultate.
Upgrade your home.
Reduce electricity demand.
Bring in universal basic energy: free energy for normal use and a premium above that.
There are obvious ways to reduce our energy bills – as highlighted by the New Economics Foundation in their latest newsletter:
We need to be insulating our homes:
EMERGENCY INSULATION BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR
Councils still have time to make sure their residents are warm this winter
Local authorities can take meaningful action to support those worst affected by high energy bills. Our new research has estimated that a local authority could install basic energy efficiency measures like loft and cavity wall insulation in a relatively energy-inefficient neighbourhood of 670 households for just £880 per household. This would save each household £220 a year on average. Altogether, that would mean the local authority spending £573,000 on the whole neighbourhood, and neighbourhood savings of £144,000 a year.
This means local authorities should be able to initiate a retrofit programme without waiting for central government.
The NEF have a fringe meeting at tomorrow’s conference:
(19) NEF on Twitter: “As the weather gets chilly, find out how we can win an emergency #GreatHomesUpgrade to keep everyone #WarmThisWinter. Hear from @Miatsf @Ed_Miliband @_OliviaBlake @Emma_Hoddinott in Liverpool 🏬🏘️🏢🏡🏫 https://t.co/Miz0eg6dBC” / Twitter
Which is part of their long-running campaign:
Meanwhile, we need to be reducing demand:
The Commission’s electricity demand reduction proposal could be ground-breaking
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Biodiversity (IPBES) have laid out how we need to cut energy and material demand to avoid climate and biodiversity catastrophe. Still, policymakers have so far shied away from such measures.
The 2021 IPCC report suggests three ways to cut demand: avoid, shift and improve. Demand measures to cut emissions from food, for example, would mean avoiding waste, shifting to eat far less meat and improving the way we cook our food by using green energy. For other sectors, it could mean banning or restricting short-haul flights, shifting to public transport, and turning off unnecessary lights on billboards and shops.
Due to the energy crisis, people are paying a lot of attention to energy, but reducing material demand must also be addressed…
There are a number of ways governments can cut energy demand and guarantee decent living standards for everyone. As the New Economics Foundation has proposed, in the energy sector, universal basic energy could give every family a level of free energy consumption to cover normal use but would charge a premium for all energy above this level. To reduce aviation emissions, a frequent flyer levy could increase the tax on airline tickets after the first flight. These measures would allow all of us to cover our needs, but excessive use to be targeted.