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Wales providing energy saving advice through Nest scheme

07 Oct 2022 2 minute read
An energy pylon.

While the UK Government is resisting calls for it to encourage people to reduce their overall energy use, amid warnings of a heightened risk of blackouts, the Welsh Government is already providing energy-saving advice, it has said.

Shortages of gas, which generated 40% of UK electricity last year, could mean planned three-hour blackouts in some areas to protect supplies for heating homes and buildings, system operators warned.

UK climate minister Graham Stuart has said: “Technically, a general campaign about reducing energy would probably make no difference to our energy security. So, that would be a good reason not to do it. We’re also hesitant to tell people what they should do when we’re not a nanny-state Government”

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg signed off on a £15 million public information campaign only for the plan to be ruled out by Prime Minister Liz Truss, according to a report in The Times.

But Mr Stuart said “I don’t recognise that”, when the issue was put to him during a series of broadcast interviews today, October 7.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our Nest scheme works with Welsh local authorities to target support to those who need it. 

“This year – at the height of a cost-of-living and cost-of-energy crisis – it will provide energy saving tips and signpost people to wider advice and support services.”

In 2020-21 more than 60,000 vulnerable households were contacted, and this year’s winter campaign starts on 1 November.

The Welsh Government will also run a campaign to help people access all the benefits and support they are entitled to. 

Factual information

Labour shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband said: “It is entirely sensible to give the public factual information about how they can save money on energy bills.

“Blocking it because of ideological dogma is another failure piled on 12 years of Tory failed energy policy for which the British people are paying the price.”

CEO of Utilita Energy, Bill Bullen, said the UK climate minister’s comments were “highly irresponsible and hazardous”.

“If our own climate minister can’t see the importance of helping homes to cut energy wastage – a move that would speed up the country’s journey towards net-zero by two years – we are doomed,” he said.

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