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Labour proposes new renewable energy heating targets

Party proposes to curb heat demand in UK buildings by a quarter and ensure 44 per cent of homes rely on renewable energy for heating by 2030 if in government

The Labour Party is considering backing a new energy policy that would aim for just under half of UK buildings to be heated with renewable power within the next twelve years.

Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, has said the Labour Party was considering plans to ensure a 25 per cent reduction on heat demand from buildings across the country over the next decade.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent of national heating demand is intended to be provided from renewable sources by 2030 under the same proposals given to media ahead of a presentation at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool.

The Guardian newspaper has reported that the proposals are intended to rethink national targets on how homes can be more efficiently heated, while pushing away from a reliance on burning fossil fuels. This would be supported by rethinking current legislation around the use of onshore wind farms to expand take up in the UK.

Targets to reduce poorly insulated homes have also been set out within Labour’s Environment Policy document, which sets out ambitions under any future government lead by the current party.

Labour has cited EU data that found UK homes are among the most costly to heat across Europe, while accounting for an estimated 14 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Proposals in the strategy include upgrading 4m homes to energy certificate band C if it comes to power. This work is intended to be supported by an annual £2.3bn investment to support the insulation of homes via a public sector-led focus.

The policy document stated, “The take up and delivery of insulation schemes will be driven by local authorities working street to street – addressing one of the main reasons for the UK’s poor record on insulation to date: over-reliance on energy companies and market mechanisms to encourage households to insulate their properties.”

These proposals could form part of the party’s wider energy policy that will reportedly seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

This would go beyond the UK’s existing pledge to curb emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels.

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