E3G: What the Chancellor’s Spring Statement means for the energy crisis

  • UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak outlines cost-of-living interventions in Spring Statement speech to Parliament.
  • Rising costs of living are throwing millions into poverty – up to 1 in 3 households could be in fuel poverty by the autumn.


VAT on retrofit measures is cut to zero. This is welcome but manifesto pledge to spend £6 billion on building energy efficiency in this Parliament still not met – with £2 billion missing.

The UK has the most poorly insulated housing stock in western Europe. By bringing the most inefficient homes up to EPC Band C, households could save £500.

Government must now prioritise boosting funding for fuel poor households to insulate their homes. This is the best way to wean UK off Russian gas and bring down energy bills. This must be announced in the energy supply strategy due ‘in the coming weeks’.

Ed Matthew, Campaigns Director at E3G said:

“The UK has the most energy inefficient housing stock in western Europe and action to cut energy demand is the most effective way to bring down energy bills. The cut in VAT for retrofitting homes is welcome, it will boost the industry and make action to decarbonise homes more affordable. What is missing is more financial support for low income households to insulate their homes. One in three households could be in fuel poverty by the autumn and eliminating energy waste must be the Government’s number one priority in the energy security plan to be announced in the coming days.”

Heather McKay, Policy Advisor on Sustainable Finance at E3G said:

“Energy security and cheaper bills will not be achieved without large scale investment in the net-zero transition. However, today’s Spring Statement shows that we’re still falling short. The upcoming Energy Security Strategy must be accompanied with a clear and coherent net-zero financing plan. Otherwise, the next crisis will soon be on the horizon – and will hit the most vulnerable hardest.”

Euan Graham, Senior Researcher on oil and gas at E3G said:

“A windfall tax on oil and gas companies would give more support to the millions of households having to choose between heating and eating. The UK already offers some of the most generous tax breaks in the world for oil and gas companies, who are making unexpected record profits. More drilling won’t help families reduce their bills. These companies are not the ones in need of help this year.”

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