On Thursday, I visited Nottingham to see Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution in practice.
Fuel poverty is one of Nottingham’s foremost challenges. For many families, energy bills can be more than 10% of their income so bringing the costs down can have a hugely positive impact on these households.
I met with Nottingham City Council who have an in-house team who install solar panels onto commercial buildings such as leisure centres, as well as homes, reducing people’s energy bills to just £300 a year. Over 4,600 council houses have had solar systems installed to date, saving tenants over £0.5 million per year on their electricity bills. In this way, I saw how solar panels are able to help tackle climate change at the same time as keeping more money in people’s wallet.
My visit coincided with an announcement of new policies from Labour to tackle climate change. Labour’s plans will fit solar panels on a million social homes and those of low-income households to tackle fuel poverty, provide them with free energy and save an average of £117 a year on their bills, which could rise to £270 for retired households.
Any unused electricity generated by the programme will be used by the national grid, which Labour will take into public ownership, raising an additional £66m per year for local authorities.
Labour will enable the installation of solar panels on an additional 750,000 homes through a programme of interest free loans, grants and changes to regulations.
Labour estimates its policy will create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the UK’s roads.