Phillip Lee MP: Green and energy-saving measures have positive effect on economyBy Dr Phillip Lee MP
March 22, 2012
We have just come to the end of Climate Change Week.
As a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Environment Group, I was recently invited to be a panel member at the Conservative Future Policy Forum.
The discussion was held around ‘How to achieve Green Growth’.
Issues involving environmental and climate change policy are certainly very significant.
I believe that we have the opportunity to make real progress if we act now.
The natural environment is central to economic prosperity and I am pleased that our Government remains committed to being the greenest Government ever.
Since coming to office, legislation has been passed to enable the launch of the Green Deal in autumn this year.
It will be the UK’s biggest-ever energy efficiency scheme, driving forward investment in renewable heat and electricity and setting up the world’s first Green Investment Bank which this year alone will invest over £750 million in new, sustainable projects and technologies.
It will revolutionise the energy efficiency of British buildings by providing consumers with up-front finance to fund energy-efficiency improvements, which will then be paid for by energy bill savings.
In addition, the Government is reforming the electricity market to create a level playing field for all forms of low-carbon generation and it has taken steps to ensure that consumers are protected from rising energy prices.
Customer research tells us that there are currently a number of practical barriers to installing energy efficiency measures because of the ‘hassle’ involved in planning and carrying out work.
In addition, there is currently a widespread lack of awareness of the benefits of improving the energy efficiency of our homes and commercial buildings.
I am not sure that enough people have thought about insulating their homes or businesses, or are aware of the options available to them.
Climate Change Week was seeking to raise awareness about measures that can be adopted to improve our energy consumption habits and hence become more climate change responsive.
Last week, I visited a very successful local company in Sandhurst that specialises in energy strategies for business.
It was not the first visit that I’ve made to a ‘green’ business in my constituency.
Increasingly, local entrepreneurs are realising that many opportunities are available in the low carbon economy.
The Green Deal, for instance, will provide more opportunities for new businesses that help lower carbon, reduce energy and save money off fuel bills.
In a time when this country has large economic challenges to deal with, finding ways to save energy will go hand in hand with people’s incentive to save money.
That is why I believe that energy-saving measures will have a positive effect on the economy for individuals and families as well as companies.
The Green Deal is exactly what this country needs.