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February 16, 2009 12:28 PM

Plans by the Liberal Democrats to massively increase the energy efficiency of all homes will lead to big savings in energy bills, say Newcastle Liberal Democrats.

In a message to local residents, Newcastle North campaigner Ron Beadle has backed the plans to raise the standard of home energy efficiency.

"The energy efficiency standards of 99 out of every 100 homes fall well below what they should be," said Ron.

"Nearly every one of us is spending money on bills to heat the great outdoors as so much energy escapes from our homes.

"We want to bring home energy efficiency up to the highest level possible. In the past year, fuel bills have gone through the roof. But too often, our heat is escaping through the roof as well. Our plans will put an end to that."

In Newcastle the Liberal Democrat-run city council has invested millions of pounds in improving the energy efficiency of local homes.

The Newcastle Warm Zone was set up five years and has already benefited tens of thousands of households in the city.

The scheme offers free or discounted insulation measures, free benefits advice and energy efficiency advice.

Recently the council announced in its budget more investment in Warm Zone with an extra £75,000 being spent during the next financial year.

"The Warm Zone scheme is an excellent example of how practical action from the Liberal Democrats can improve the energy efficiency of peoples' homes," said Ron Beadle.

"By cutting energy waste, we are also cutting the damage we do to the environment.

"It's a win-win situation: lower fuel bills and fewer emissions that are leading to climate change that has given us extreme weather."

The Liberal Democrats' plans include requiring energy companies to use some of the £9 billion profit they have made from emissions trading to insulate the homes of the poorest residents.

They will also set up a National Green Loans scheme which will pay for a complete overhaul of the energy efficiency of people's homes.

Repayments will be added to energy bills with the loan paid off from the savings in energy use. Loan repayments will not be allowed to be more than the savings.

"This is a great idea for helping people to cut their energy bills and help us save the planet," said Ron Beadle.