Energy targets falling behind

ENERGY efficiency targets are falling behind in some parts of the eastern region.A survey by the Friends of the Earth (FoE) environment group suggests that 29 of the region's 48 district and borough councils are unlikely to hit the target of a 30 per cent improvement in the energy efficiency of homes in their areas between the years 1995 and 2010.

ENERGY efficiency targets are falling behind in some parts of the eastern region.

A survey by the Friends of the Earth (FoE) environment group suggests that 29 of the region's 48 district and borough councils are unlikely to hit the target of a 30 per cent improvement in the energy efficiency of homes in their areas between the years 1995 and 2010.

The group claims that in order to achieve the improvement, councils should have reached the 12% mark by last year – by initiatives such as the installation of efficient heating systems in council accommodation and "bulk buy" schemes to reduce the cost to private owners of buying insulation materials.

But data supplied by the councils to a Government website suggests many are far behind.

Suffolk Coastal's figure was only 7% while Babergh was at 8.3%, and Mid Suffolk at 8.5%.

A spokesman for Mid-Suffolk District Council said: "Mid Suffolk District Council is doing as much as it can within the resources at it's disposal to achieve the target of a district wide 30% overall reduction in domestic energy consumption.

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"But it is not alone in holding the view that a 30% reduction is a very ambitious target and does not fully take into account the resources available in any one district or at the local council's disposal to achieve that level of improvement.

"Looking on the positive side, Mid Suffolk in the circumstances is doing very well in achieving year on year improvements, and regular annual district-wide surveys by the council provide the evidence that shows this is the case."

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said the majority of its improvements in energy efficiency had taken place before 1995 when the Government began measuring.

"In 1995 we were already at a good level," he said.

"All we have responsibility for now is private sector housing and all we can do is encourage people to take advantage of the grants available to them in insulation works."

Ipswich and St. Edmundsbury were just under the 2002 target at 11.5% and 11.1% respectively.

Martyn Williams, FoE campaigner, said saving energy by making homes more energy efficient could have a major impact on the amount of global warming gases being emitted.

"Some councils are making progress. But so many are falling behind that it is clear the Government must do more to help them meet these crucial targets," he added.

For more information on insulation grants contact 0800 512012.

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