The Great Homes Upgrade is a campaign by the New Economics Foundation to accelerate retrofit in the UK so as to be compatible with zero carbon, save on energy bills, and skill people up for the energy transition. Here are some template letters you can use to ask Redbridge and Waltham Forest MPs to get on board. Please edit and personalise the letter as you (downloads are in two formats in case your software has problems with one or the other: open document format and ‘Word’ / ‘.docx’).
- WCA’s sample letter to John Cryer MP (download as Word document)
- (Leyton and Wanstead, Labour). In 2021 John Cryer started Early Day Motion 201 calling for plans for low carbon homes and buildings, but a lot has happened since…
- WCA’s sample letter to Iain Duncan Smith MP (download as Word document)
- (Chingford and Woodford Green, Conservative)
- WCA’s sample letter to Wes Streeting MP (download as Word document)
- (Ilford North, Labour) – a shadow cabinet minister so unlikely to make commitments as an individual but still influential
- WCA’s generic sample letter for any MP (download as Word document)
- New Economic Foundation’s template letter (download as Word document)
- We recommend you sign up at greathomesupgrade.org and then you can find this as part of the NEF toolkit. This goes into more detail about the proposed measures, but was written before the Chancellor’s spring statement 2022.
- Or use the NEF page where you can customise an email to your MP.
Notes and sources
The straightforward Katharine Hayhoe quote about the cheapest form of energy is from WCA’s current book group book, Saving Us (2021)
E3G: “The government has provided £37bn this year just to keep people afloat. Investing now in long-term, enduring solutions can prevent similar sums from being required up to 2030 and potentially beyond. The government could act now to reliably lower bills by launching a national mission to upgrade the UK’s cold and leaky homes.” “If every home below EPC C was improved, the aggregate bill saving would be £10.6bn each year at today’s prices.” The E3G proposal, the Home Energy Security Strategy, has some complementary measures to the Great Homes Upgrade, but overall iseems less ambitious. Webinar. The idea of ‘Eco Plus’ may be being considered by the Government according to the Times but here’s expert reaction on Twitter.
The scheme by London Councils for a £98bn upgrade includes private finance.
“Billions of pounds given away in a tax break for UK oil and gas exploitation could have permanently cut the energy bills of 2m homes by £342 a year if invested in insulation measures, according to a green thinktank.” Guardian, 31 May
Govt Heat and Buildings Strategy (Oct 2021) has “multiple” risks of failure says Climate Change Committee, Big Issue, 9 Mar 2022.
The ‘energy security strategy‘ was hastily announced since the NEF letter, and some of the criticism of it follows.
Kwasi Kwarteng, BEIS minister admitted strategy ‘won’t help you or me or others deal with short-term prices’ (BBC Today programme)
Michael Lewis, the UK chief of energy firm E.ON, said a failure to include measures to help people reduce energy use and insulate homes “condemns thousands more customers to living in cold and draughty homes, wasting energy and paying more than they need to for their heating”, reports Reuters. The Times says that Lewis “led a chorus of criticism from industry experts, charities and opposition MPs at the government’s failure to include substantive new plans for energy efficiency in the strategy”.
“Environmentalists and many energy experts have reacted with disbelief and anger at some of the measures in the strategy. They cannot believe the government has offered no new policies on saving energy by insulating buildings.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61027313
UK’s new energy security strategy branded ‘missed opportunity’, Financial Times, 7 April 2022
New Scientist: “the strategy includes no major new energy efficiency measures and instead summarises policies previously announced. It claims that “by 2025, around 700,000 homes will be upgraded”, but it is far from clear how this will happen.”.
Radio 4’s Costing the Earth, 13 Apr: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001687g
‘Economists say living costs for Britain’s poorest households are expected to increase by almost twice the rate as those for the richest when energy bills rise this autumn.’ Guardian, 25 May
Please contact us if you have any questions.