The Labour Party has published a Green Paper to address the ongoing need for improved energy efficiency in the nation's housing stock.

Entitled ‘An end to cold homes: One Nation Labour’s plans for energy efficiency’, the paper outlines steps consumers can take to lower their energy bills.

Roger Webb Director of the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council, HHIC said: "Generally I like what the paper contains. Free home energy reports are a good start. However, as with anything, they will only be useful in driving change if consumers agree to have them undertaken and can then understand and act on any recommendations.

"Free energy efficient improvements to raise 200,000 people out of fuel poverty and an interest free loan for 1 million people living in ageing housing are a great start, but this will only happen if we invest in changing behaviours – a notoriously difficult thing to achieve.

"The process needs to simple and delivered on a local basis by local people. A faceless bureaucracy is an immediate barrier. I think this has been evidenced by the difficulties energy companies have faced when trying to find the right households to support via early Government programmes such as Warm Front or ECO."

Mr Webb suggested that the 122,000 registered gas engineers across the country, who are going into people’s homes on a regular basis to service and undertake work, are in the best position to engage with homeowners.