ONE of the strangest things about change is that as it becomes more practical, more affordable and easier to achieve resistance to it seems to increase amongst those who are stuck in the mire of fossilised thinking.

For decades environmentalists have been telling us that the first priority is to cut our consumption of power by improving insulation on existing buildings and making sure all new ones are cheap to run.

There is still no serious national programme of insulation of leaky old buildings and most of the new estates that are going up across Craven aren’t installing a single solar panel. That has a direct impact on energy bills and on inflation.

The second quick and easy way to reduce the need to produce energy is to switch consumption away from peak times so that we even out demand. Yet most energy customers are still on flat rate charges that give them no incentive to use power at 2am in the morning when little power is used instead of at 5pm at night when demand is heavy.

Simple changes in the time of use are quick, cheap and highly effective ways of reducing the amount of energy production that is needed. There is already plenty enough power capacity to cope with a huge switch to electric vehicles if they are charged at off peak times.

When it comes to generating power it has become seriously cost effective to invest in solar panels that are backed up with batteries. Yet there is little support to help households to cover the up front costs of installing them.

The government chose instead to waste money on subsidising energy bills at the same time as energy companies were allowed to excessively raise prices in order to increase their profit margins. Has there ever been a more short sighted waste of government money or a bigger failure to invest in the future?

The technology to wean Britain off dependence on burning fossils is already with us and already affordable. What is lacking is the will to implement it.

Councillor Andy Brown

Green Party