U.K. businesses and homeowners could be jailed for up to a year or fined £15,000 for non-compliance with new energy efficiency regulations proposed by the Conservative government, which have been described by critics as a “massive expansion of the state and its power over our lives.”
The Energy Bill, which returned to parliament for its third reading this week, outlines several new requirements homeowners must adhere to in relation to Net Zero, the government’s commitment to being carbon neutral by 2050.
For the first time, individuals face criminal charges for failing to comply with measures designed to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
One such draconian regulation states that household appliances such as fridges, washing machines, and heat pumps must be fitted with smart functions that can be controlled by “any persons carrying out load control,” namely the National Grid, which oversees the majority of electricity transmission and distribution in Britain.
The vast majority of households in the country will not currently comply with the new measures outlined in the bill, meaning homeowners will be compelled to pay out significant sums to transform properties and make them “energy-efficient” or potentially face criminal charges for so-called “non-compliance.”
The bill has angered a number of backbench Conservative MPs who have threatened to rebel against the legislation, with some claiming it is the latest installment in the government’s “cult-like” obsession with Net Zero.
“We cannot impoverish our country to meet some, well, I’d like to call it in some cases almost cultish policy until we can afford it. Until it works, that’s when I think we should adopt all these policies,” said Richard Drax, the Conservative MP for South Dorset.
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