The recent Guardian editorial about the looming energy cost crisis is correct to put centre stage a massive home energy efficiency programme to both cut bills and contribute to our net zero obligations.
The government estimates that there are £1,933bn of net savings in the UK, as well as pension wealth of £6,445bn. Some of this could be leveraged to the tens of billions of pounds needed to make all the UK’s 30m homes energy efficient, creating in the process jobs in every constituency.
That proposal suggests using personal savings to fund making homes energy efficient, a key part of the eventual solution to help tackle the rising energy bills part of the Cost of Living Crisis.
In the short term, therefore, the priority must be massive support for the majority of families who are increasingly being battered by the cost of living crisis. This will increasingly crush their spending options and result in a massive decrease in demand for retail, hospitality and travel.
The huge funding required to tackle the crisis can come predominantly from the same source that dealt with the banking and covid crises – Quantitative Easing (QE). Between 2009 and 2021, with a few taps on a keyboard at the Bank of England £895 billion of new money was created. The opposition parties know about this, so it’s time they united around a call for QE3.
This third tranche of QE money would solve the cost of living crisis and could also be used to help fund a transition that will provide people with longer-term hope, economic security and local regeneration. Its programmes could range for example from adequate health and care provision to making all buildings energy efficient.
In short, a social and green new deal – a platform that could win such a co-operative coalition the next election. In today’s local elections, as Compass’ Neal Lawson pointed out in the Guardian, some standing down by Labour and Lib Dems in areas they can’t win is the Labour-Lib Dem pact that terrifies the Tories, for fear that it will to be used in the next general election.
Tomorrow morning’s results should make for interesting reading!