Families in Bedford Borough are paying over £23 million more a year for their energy bills because they are living in poorly insulated homes, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed. Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats are demanding that the government urgently invest in fixing leaky homes in the area and cut people's energy bills in the long term.
The analysis shows 34,107 households in Bedford Borough have received poor energy efficiency ratings (EPC Bands D-G), making up 50% of the homes in the area. It comes despite a government target to upgrade all homes to Band C by 2035.
The figures show that those living in homes in Bands D to G pay an average of £687 more a year on energy bills than those with a Band C rating. Meanwhile, those on the lowest energy efficiency ratings can pay nearly £1,000 more a year. It means in total, families living in draughty homes in Bedford Borough are estimated to be shelling out £23,452,655 a year because the government has failed to bring them up to at least a Band C rating.
The research comes after the government refused to invest more in home insulation in its energy security strategy. The Liberal Democrats are calling for a windfall tax on the super profits of oil and gas companies which would raise an estimated £5 billion, £500m of which would be spent on upgrading poorly insulated homes.
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing, Councillor Dean Crofts said "This Conservative government's failure to tackle cold and leaky homes has piled misery on top of the cost of living crisis. They are completely out of touch with families in Bedford Borough who have been left struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table. Now is not the time for short-sighted penny pinching. We need an emergency package of support to fix poorly insulated homes and cut energy bills in the long term. This can be done quickly whilst other energy sources are put in place. The package could be funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies who are making record profits out of soaring energy prices."