Remember when I sent MP Ed Balls an email, campaigning to make sure windows were installed as part of the Green Deal, as well as trying to push for 5% VAT for energy efficient windows? Well if not, you can read his response to that first email here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2012/07/letter-from-ed-balls/
Today I received another letter from Mr Balls. Have a read, let me know what you think. Be patient, it’s a bit of a long one.
You have previously contacted me regarding green energy, sustainability and environmental issues.
I’m writing to update you on some recent developments that I think may be of interest as they are proposals aimed at ensuring that the UK has a sustainable economic future.
On 10th July 2013 I attended the annual Green Alliance debate along with business leaders, environmental campaigners and scientists to discuss Britain’s energy future.
Getting energy policy right for the next 20 years is one of the biggest challenges – and the biggest opportunities our economy faces this generation. It is clear that in the coming decades all countries will have to generate much more energy using renewable sources. The alternative is devastating climate change, ever rising energy prices and energy insecurity.
The scale of the consensus across businesses and environmental groups is striking, something that would have been impossible to imagine a decade ago. Everyone from Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to the Confederation of Business Industry and companies like Alstom and Siemens agree that ensuring sustainable, affordable and reliable energy needs to be at the heart of any economic policy.
Major firms are now saying they are poised to make significant investments here in the UK that would generate vital domestic expertise and supply chains as well as the exports and jobs of the future. The UK has a potentially world leading position in offshore wind, wave and tidal power.
However, this investment and reform depends on leadership from Government. Yet time and time again, I hear locally from business and green campaigners alike that this leadership is currently absent.
One business in my constituency that had been poised to expand their solar panel business was forced to relocate their premises because of delays and indecision by the government.
What Britain really needs is leadership, policy certainty and a cross-party consensus to deliver an economy with strong and sustained prosperity. We need a clear plan for the future of energy generation that includes both developing energy efficiency in the home and reducing the impact of energy generation by using a balance on nuclear, gas, renewables and carbon capture technologies.
I’ve said the Government should commit now for a 2030 energy decarbonisation target. Delaying any decision on a commitment until 2016 is a wasted opportunity. The UK should be leading and not following on the global stage, the government should be working with our EU partners to set clear goals in the run up to the Paris 2015 global talks.
We should put an end to the mixed signals that are causing confusion and deterring investment by posing a false choice between gas and renewable energy. I support efforts to secure new domestic gas supply, although there are real environmental concerns that must be addressed. I want to see a secure gas supply in the decades ahead. But while ‘fracking’ has had a major impact on energy prices in the US, most experts believe any impact in Europe is uncertain at best. Any balanced and low-carbon energy strategy for the years ahead will need gas, renewable energy and, in our view, nuclear too.
I also want to see clarity on the Green Investment Bank too – to support new technologies and to support energy efficiency. So the government should end the current uncertainty and commit now to giving the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers in 2015. A successful Green Investment Bank could help to raise our ambition on energy efficiency to insulate homes, cut fuel poverty, bring down bills, create jobs and stimulate the economy in the process.
I want to see Britain securing a world leading position for British businesses to help the world meet the challenges of creating a global low carbon economy and in doing so create prosperity and jobs for people here in the UK.
We need to ensure businesses have the confidence to invest in the UK. The costs of failure to our environment are well known. But the costs to our long term prosperity and security are just as great.
I hope this update is useful. If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I’m sorry that was so long winded, but I wanted to make sure the full letter was on here. And yes, this is very much a politicians letter. Very much like a politician’s speech, a lot is talked, with very little being said. However, there are a few points within this letter I agree with.
- I agree that the Govt is dithering on green energy policies
- I agree that the UK’s energy in the nest 20 years will need to be a mix of everything, but with nuclear and renewable energy needs to make up most of it
- I agree that the Green Investment Bank needs further support and the ability to borrow
- I agree that fracking isn’t a permanent feature for UK energy
That’s about all I agree with as the letter was very much full of fluff and pre-election Govt bashing. I’m not sure whether or not to reply to Mr Balls or not. I do want to press him on his previous ideas of 5% VAT and if he thinks energy efficient windows should benefit from lower VAT.
Muppet on a string like all MPs
In reality they can do diddly squat but hey you have a House of Commons envelope to wipe ur butt on!!!!!
I think the mistake by our industry is to press for a general Vat reduction to 5%. Why not press for a reduction to 5% for “A” rated products only. Since the Govt loves paperwork, why not interest them by having a to the point register of window products, hardware and glass that are the top end for sealing, security and insulation and, when specified, attract only a 5% tax. Then the Govt won’t have to inflict this wasteful and awfully circuitrous route mistakenly called ” The Green Deal”. The” Green Deal” simply dirverts your customers, who were coming to… Read more »