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2. SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Energy and Fuel

VISION: Improved energy and fuel options and efficiency for those in rural Surrey, so that ‘off-grid’ residents and businesses are not forced into fuel poverty.

This could be achieved by:

* Energy efficiency measures in new and existing properties
* More wood fuel energy solutions
* Energy solutions that provide economic, environmental and health benefits
* Better renewable energy infrastructure
* Community led energy projects to help them address particular needs
* Support for fuel buying groups

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Answer - Neither agree nor disagree

The current government has removed subsidies for home insulation; its reduced the need for house builders to implement high standards of insulation in new homes. It has been suggested many new properties being built now will have to be retrofitted with energy efficiency measures, no doubt at the expense of the householder. This totally undermines the suggestion that energy efficiency measures should be introduced in new and existing properties. Further government changes to the planning regulations for wind farms and solar farms makes it less not more likely that these forms of renewable energy will become available.

We don't want to cut down all our woodland to promote more wood fuel energy solutions.  Energy efficiency is desirable.  We need better renewable energy, but we don't want to cover Surrey's countryside in wind or solar farms; solar panels on factory roofs and all new school buildings would however be a sensible constraint.

Communities are not experts in energy projects. Is SCC, who has just been congratulated by the Prime Minister for saving £330 million, going to suddenly find a package of grants to pump-prime community micro-generation projects? We think not.

Why is fuel poverty only an issue for "off-grid" residents? It concerns all residents. The apparent long-term reduction in world oil prices should make middle-distillate much more affordable for the relatively small number of off-grid households in isolated rural areas. That is of course unless SCC are prepared to come up with grants for expensive trenching by power companies to put such households “on-grid”.

Thursday the 14th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 11 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2DD - funded by Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template