Lib Dems vow to end fuel poverty and lead solar revolution

  • Lib Dems pledge insulation and heat pump support for low-income households
  • ‘Bold and urgent action’ needed to tackle climate change
  • Rooftop solar revolution on the way if party wins election
  • The UK could become world leader in renewable tech
Ed Davey launches the Lib Dem manifesto

Ed Davey will make renewable energy critical to the UK’s energy transition – credit Instagram

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to end fuel poverty and invest massively in renewable technologies, including driving a “rooftop solar revolution” to ensure the UK reaches its net-zero environmental targets ahead of the election on 4 July. 

In its manifesto, titled ‘For a Fair Deal 2024’, the Lib Dems said it would take “bold, urgent action” to tackle climate change, cut energy bills and create “thousands of secure, well-paid new jobs”. 

In doing so, the Lib Dems will make the UK the world leader in clean technologies. 

“Climate change is an existential threat, soaring temperatures leading to wildfires, floods, droughts and rising sea levels are affecting millions of people directly, and billions more through falling food production and rising prices,” the party said.

“At the same time, sky-high energy bills are hurting families and businesses, fuelling the cost-of-living crisis. 

“Russia’s assault on Ukraine has reinforced the need to significantly reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels and invest in renewables – both to cut energy bills and to deliver energy security.”

The Lib Dems have pledged to: 

  • Introduce free insulation and heat pumps for those on low incomes, and ensure that all new homes are zero-carbon.
  • Make it easier to install solar panels, including a guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back into the grid.
  • Invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030.
  • Appoint a Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to ensure that the economy is sustainable, resource-efficient and zero-carbon, establish a new Net Zero Delivery Authority to coordinate action across government departments and work with devolved administrations, and hand more powers and resources to local councils for local net zero strategies.
  • Establish national and local citizens’ assemblies to give people real involvement in the decisions needed to tackle climate change.
  • Restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change, by returning international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.


End fuel poverty

The Liberal Democrats have made clear the connection between two of the major crises of our time: the cost-of-living and the climate, and that to solve one requires working on the other as well.

To that end, it has said all new homes will be zero carbon, and there will be free insulation and heat pumps for low-income households as part of what it calls a “ten-year emergency upgrade programme”. 

This upgrade programme will provide incentives for installing heat pumps that cover the real costs, although it is unclear how it will differ from the present Boiler Upgrade Scheme. 

In its drive to help low-income and vulnerable households, the party will introduce a social tariff to provide “targeted energy discounts” and implement a one-off tax on the “super profits of oil and gas producers and traders”.

It will also:

  • Reintroducing requirements for landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties to EPC C or above by 2028.
  • Decouple electricity prices from the wholesale gas price.
  • Eliminate “unfair regional differences” in domestic energy bills.


Solar revolution and renewable technologies

Solar power forms a core part of the Liberal Democrats’ sustainability policy, and according to its manifesto, renewable energy will get a huge boost should Ed Davey walk into 10 Downing Street on the morning of July 5th.

The party has promised to expand incentives for households to install solar panels, including what it calls a “guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back to the grid”.

The party has also said it will immediately start requiring all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to “a zero-carbon standard”, which includes being fitted with solar panels, and “progressively increasing standards as technology improves.”

To boost the country’s solar capacity, the party will invest in energy storage and battery capacity and look to build a “sustainable supply chain” for renewable energy technology by working with the EU. 

It will also remove what it calls the Conservative government’s “unnecessary restrictions on new solar and wind power” and aim to support investment in other renewable energies, such as tidal and wave power. 

As well as that, it has promised to build more electricity interconnectors between the UK to guarantee the security of supply in an effort to avoid disruption to local communities.

As far as supporting eco-friendly technologies goes, the party has also pledged to: 

  • Maintain the ban on fracking and introduce a ban on new coal mines.
  • Building the grid infrastructure required, facilitated by a strategic Land and Sea Use Framework as set out in chapter 15.
  • Implementing the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring a just transition that values the skills and experience of people working in the oil and gas industry and provides good opportunities for them, and takes special care of the regions and communities most affected.

The Liberal Democrats are the second party standing in the general election to release its manifesto after Reform did so last week. 

Many of its policies will be welcomed by industry figures, including Solar Energy UK, who last week set out its manifesto  for helping the government make the most of solar energy, in which it made clear that any policies had to make it easier for low-income households to access solar technology. 

Written by:
Max joined The Eco Experts as content manager in February 2024. He has written about sustainability issues across numerous industries, including maritime, supply chain, finance, mining and retail. He has also written for  City AM, The Morning Star and the Daily Express.
Reviewed by:
Roland is Editor of The Eco Experts. He is passionate about solar power, reducing plastic waste and technology that can help humanity overcome some of its greatest challenges.
Back to Top