What is the Government doing to tackle the problem?
The UK government has committed to reducing the level of carbon emissions in this country by 26% by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050. The Climate Change Act has cemented this goal.
In order to achieve this very ambitious target the following schemes have been put in place:
- Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s): Compulsory for all homes sold in the UK. These give all homes a rating depending on their energy efficiency.
- Carbon Emissions Reduction Target: Energy suppliers have been forced to offer incentives and subsidies for their customers to take advantage of free loft insulationand other schemes.
- The banning of normal light bulbs in favour of low energy bulbs.
- Increased taxes on businesses for energy use.
- Made available government grants for air source heat pumps
- Energy suppliers must get 10% of their energy from renewable sources.
- Some energy savings products have a lower VAT rate.
- The Feed-In-Tariff: Designed to encourage householders and businesses to invest in renewable sources of energy in return for a reduction in energy costs and a pay-back scheme. £80 million has been invested by the government in this scheme.
- Renewable Heat Incentive: The cost of installing renewable energy sources is being subsidised through this scheme and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment.
- The Green Deal: Due to start this year, theGreen Deal will allow householders to borrow the money to have energy efficient measures installed in their homes.
It has been argued that the government could be doing much more to reduce the carbon footprint of the UK, but the schemes detailed above are considered to be a good start.
However individuals can make their own changes by thinking more carefully about how they purchase everyday goods and services.