European Greens talk to CSE

Molly Scott Cato, lead MEP candidate for the Greens in the European Elections on 22 May, visited the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol on Monday 12 May 2014 with Ska Keller, co-leader of the Greens in the European Parliament, to talk to chief executive Simon Roberts about the realities of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the UK.

Ska is particularly keen to see energy justice and is concerned about people having to live in cold homes. On average our housing stock in the UK is some of the worst in Europe for energy efficiency, and many of the poorest people live with pre-payment meters so that they can’t heat their homes. Private rented sector accommodation is a particular problem. Under the ‘green deal’  financed by loans at high rates of interest the number of homes being insulated has collapsed.

Molly asked what needs to be done at the European level. Simon said that UK legislation is in keeping with European guidelines but clearly more needs to be done. CSE are working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to improve the ‘green deal’ but efficiency measures are currently very weakly represented in government thinking. The government has recently stopped local authorities setting energy efficiency targets higher than national standards. Currently government is working towards targets for 2020 but policy for 2030 and beyond is not coherent.

Molly pointed out that councils could register private rented accommodation and require minimum energy efficiency standards. Bristol also have a European funded ELENA program to develop the supply chain for energy efficiency measures.

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