From our Swindon Correspondent:
From The BBC
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements, with the poorest getting up to £10,000.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to set out a £2bn grant scheme in England for projects such as insulation as part of a wider £3bn plan to cut emissions.
We’ve covered this in some detail on CT before
, but in a nutshell, we’ve done all the good insuring that gets us a lot of emissions reductions for the money. I’m still not sure if they add up, in terms of Lord Stern’s figures, but not a bad idea.
The Treasury said the grants could help to support more than 100,000 jobs.
So would giving spoons to the people digging trenches for HS2, as Milton Friedman might say. Jobs are a cost. We only want them so we can get useful things done. That money has to come from somewhere. £2bn on home improvements is £30 each. That’s me not buying a new shirt, a couple having lunch out or some bloke buying a lap dance. All of those are “the economy”. And if you put the money into insulation, that’s money not going to single mothers to shake their booty.
Under the Green Homes Grant, the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy, the Treasury said.
For example, a homeowner of a semi-detached or end-of-terrace house could install cavity wall and floor insulation for about £4,000 – the homeowner would pay £1,320 while the government would contribute £2,680.
So, these are the expensive insulation projects, the ones not worth doing.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Business Secretary Alok Sharma added that the poorest households could receive up to £10,000 towards costs, and that double glazing would also be covered by the scheme.
He continued: “What [the scheme] ultimately means is lower bills for households, hundreds of pounds off energy bills every year, it’s supporting jobs and is very good news for the environment.”
You can make savings of that sort of number with cavity wall and loft insulation, but we’ve pretty much done those. Installing double glazing doesn’t save hundreds of pounds per year. The government’s own figures show no more than £155
. They also show that only 7% of homes have no double glazing. We’ve had this for decades now, so many houses have already had it done. What’s left is likely to mostly be listed buildings and people who just prefer wood.
This is wasteful New Deal thinking that is bad for recovery and bad for people. We want spending that improves people’s lives and this doesn’t. it helps a few double glazing companies get richer at the cost of other industries and the consumer.