Labour have announced plans to fit solar panels to 1.75m homes lived in by socially housed or low-income households as part of its promised “green industrial revolution” to try to combat climate change and boost jobs.
The programme is due to be announced by Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, at an event in Yorkshire on Thursday.
It would involve solar panels being fitted to a million social homes as part of scheduled updates to social housing.
Labour said this would provide enough power to give them free energy, saving an average of £117 a year on bills. Any spare power would be put into the national grid.
Another 750,000 low-income households would have the chance to have the panels fitted through interest-free loans or grants.
The partyestimated the policy would create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1m tonnes of CO2 a year, equivalent to taking 4m cars off the roads.
It comes after Labour’s pledge in February to introduce a wider set of policies to simultaneously tackle the climate crisis and create large numbers of high-skilled jobs in the green economy.
As part of the Labour plan, the party has committed to making sure at least 60% of the UK’s electricity and heat comes from renewable sources by 2030. The plan will involve what Labour calls a “just transition”, allowing people currently working in carbon-emitting industries to move into skilled green jobs.
Corbyn said: “In this country, too often people are made to feel like the cost of saving the planet falls on them. Too many think of green measures as just another way for companies or the government to get money out of them, while the rich fly about in private jets and heat their empty mansions.”
He claimed Labour’s green industrial revolution “will benefit working-class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding well-paid jobs and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long”.
Corbyn added: “By focusing on low-income households we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy. Social justice and climate justice as one. Environmental destruction and inequality not only can, but must be tackled at the same time.”