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Sunak signs £18m public information campaign to save energy

Rishi Sunak has commissioned an £18m information campaign to convince the British public to save energy ahead of the frigid winter months.

The Prime Minister’s predecessor in Downing Street, Liz Truss, was against on the basis of freedom to spend any money to encourage energy saving. But the new prime minister wants to reduce electricity use at a time when the state is subsidizing gas and electricity prices at a cost of tens of billions of pounds after they spiked because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The government says the mass media campaign, called “Help for Households”, will offer tips and technical advice for people to cut energy use and stay warm.

These measures will include measures such as draft-proof windows, turning off radiators in empty rooms and reducing boiler temperatures. The government will say that if a typical household cuts boiler line temperature from 75C to 60C and turns off radiators in unused parts of the home, they could save £160 a year on bills energy.

Grant Shapps, business secretary, will also announce a new £1 billion ‘ECO+’ plan to insulate the least energy efficient homes, in addition to the existing £6.6 billion spending for government insulation during the 5 years of the current parliament. It’s an extension of an existing one “Obligation of an Energy Company” (ECO) starting in 2013.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, has announced another £6bn funding for insulation over three years from 2025 to 2028 in his recent Fall Statement – annual increase in investment.

Noble Francis, chief economist at the Building Products Association, welcomed the £1 billion target for homes most in need of repair, but warned that the government’s decision to announce the plan by the end of November means “unlikely to make reductions in energy bills this winter”.

Labor said the government announcement fell far short of its own Warm Home Plan, which will invest up to £6 billion a year for 10 years to improve home energy efficiency.

In 2020, the government launched the Green Homes Grant, another residential insulation program, which aims to retrofit 600,000 homes. The plan was criticized by homeowners and builders for excessive bureaucracy and was scrapped a year later after retrofitting fewer than 45,000 homes.

Separately, Shapps is said to be about to announce the deployment of “Great Britain Nuclear”, a new body that will oversee the construction of new nuclear power plants including a fleet of small nuclear reactors proposed by Rolls-Royce.

The GBN was first announced in April by former prime minister Boris Johnson – in hopes that it could have a budget of nearly £500m – but it has been stymied by political turmoil, delays and uncertainty. protest from within the Ministry of Finance. “There are only so many times that we can re-publish the same thing,” said a government aide.

Rolls-Royce has been pushing ministers to join talks on potential funding models and on how to deploy the technology so it can start building factories. The first reactor will probably need a funding model backed by the government or bill payers.

The company is in early-stage negotiations with energy-intensive users as potential customers, including power-intensive data centers.



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