On 18th January, Mary spoke in a parliamentary debate about the Government’s Energy Bill. Her contribution focused on warm homes, low bills, and green energy. She argued that energy has to be affordable and when Labour were in government they understood that. Labour invested £20 billion pounds making people’s home decent, warm and weatherproof, 1 million new central heating systems, 740,000 rewired homes and helped a further 2 million homes through the Warm Front Scheme. Since 2013, 16,400 homes have been retrofitted under the Government’s Green Deal.
In 2009 Mary discovered that, in Wakefield, Derwent and Windermere roads, which were built as prefab homes, were not connected to the National Grid. She conducted a survey there in 2009 with Councillor Margaret Isherwood and discovered that the average fuel bill was £2,000 pounds a year. They fought for their connection and got the government to help warm up this cold spot. One resident at a surgery said how much she loved seeing the gas boiler condensing pipes puffing out steam during the recent cold snap. However, 3,900 households are living in fuel poverty in Wakefield and average household energy bills have gone up from £503 pounds in 2010 to £606 pounds in 2015.
Mary argued that this government have talked green and acted blue. She said, “It is time to think again and for Labour to live up to their past record, as a leading player on climate change, on green energy investment and on tackling fuel poverty.”