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How ditching green policies cost us money

j44caThe Chancellor of the Exchequer may have finally relented and decided to hand out the proceeds of a windfall tax to poorer households but, as the Independent reports, earlier decisions by the Tory Government could have saved us all a lot of money, and done so on an annual basis.

The paper says that a new analysis has found that households could have saved more than £500 a year on energy bills during the cost-of-living crisis if the government had not scrapped a green policy for homes:

UK parliamentary research - seen by The Independent - increased previous estimates to reflect soaring household bills, which are expected to rise even further later this year.

It estimated the missed potential for savings will rise to as high as £525 a year by autumn - up from around £370 a year currently.

The Liberal Democrats - who commissioned the research - said shelving tough environmental rules for new homes was "short-sighted" and ended up "slapping hundreds of pounds" onto bills.

The Zero Carbon Homes policy would have prevented new houses from releasing a net amount of carbon into the atmosphere during day-to-day running.

Among other factors, this would have been achieved through good energy efficiency - considered key to keeping bills, as well as emissions, down.

It was scrapped in 2015 - the year before it was due to kick in.

A subsequent report estimated the zero-carbon homes policy would have saved recently-built houses up to £200 a year on energy bills.

The House of Commons library has been revising these estimates in line with the changing cost of energy bills.

It previously found large family homes built within the last six years would be saving up to £370 a year on bills under the current energy price cap, had they been covered by the scrapped green rules.

When the price cap rises by an expected 42 per cent in October, it said the figure would rise to as high as £525 a year. At minimum, the figure would be £376 a year.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary researchers said terraced homes would be missing out on between £227 and £312 a year of savings on energy bills. For flats, it would be between £142 and £199 a year.

As Wera Hobhouse, the Lib Dem climate change spokesperson, says, the Tories have a "shameful record on energy efficiency".

"Many are having to choose between heating and eating because of the Conservatives cost of living crisis," she said. "Scrapping zero carbon homes was a shambolic and short-sighted policy that is hitting people hard."

Perhaps it is time government planned for the long term instead of always going for the quick fix.