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A Green New Deal will tackle rising energy costs, says Donnelly

Retrofitting all social housing and giving grants to retrofit private homes with energy efficiency measures would be a major step towards helping people get through the current crisis of rising energy costs, Alliance’s Danny Donnelly has said.

Danny, who was recently appointed the party’s Biodiversity and Green Energy spokesperson, said Alliance’s Green New Deal plan, which includes proposals for a retrofitting programme by 2030, also outlined how we should be moving focus away from fossil fuels generally, in order to make a more secure future for Northern Ireland’s energy market.

It comes after a wave of rising energy costs for local people, with the latest announced by Firmus being the second hike facing its customers in a number of weeks.

“As we have recently seen, energy costs have risen dramatically for people across Northern Ireland and will likely to continue to do so,” said Danny.

“When coupled with increased cost of living across society, the ongoing pandemic and the heartless cut in universal credit affecting many, now is the time to look at how we get our energy and how we can future-proof our consumption.

“We have long seen an over-reliance on fossil fuels, with no thought given to our long-term future. Rather than sitting back, we need to be working hard to champion renewable energy. Alliance’s proposal to retrofit social housing and give grants to do the same with private homes by 2030 is a fundamental step towards decarbonising the residential sector, while helping people now cope with the rising costs being experienced across our society.

“Many people are rightly worried about how they will pay for their latest energy bills. But it doesn’t have to be like this. If we retrofit homes and actively tackle this crisis, we can remove that stress from people’s lives.”