'Government must retrofit one million homes a year'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Central Government, Housing
Energy bills set to rise to fund investment in ageing network
The government must act to retrofit one million homes a year over the next 25 years if it is to end spiralling energy bills and curb carbon emissions, the UK Green Building Council has warned.
With Chancellor George Osborne preparing to deliver his budget next week, the UK-GBC is urging him to make energy efficiency a top infrastructure priority, and in doing so "rescue the ailing Green Deal".
The UK has over 25 million homes, most of which, the UK-GBC says, are hugely energy inefficient.
Homes account for around a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions.
The UK-GBC says that improving the UK's properties offers a unique opportunity to stimulate investment and growth in construction, helping to create thousands of jobs and export opportunities for a world-leading energy efficiency industry.
Paul King, UK-GBC chief executive, said: “As our energy bills continue to climb year on year and the need to reduce our emissions becomes ever more urgent, energy efficiency is the only antidote. But make no mistake, the scale of the challenge, and equally the opportunity for the construction industry, is huge.
“By retrofitting one million homes a year over the next 25 years, Mr Osborne could end the misery of rising energy bills, fuel poverty, and slash our carbon emissions. But Government must make energy efficiency a top infrastructure priority and provide the necessary support to allow this market to flourish.”
The UK-GBC wants the government to treat energy efficiency as a capital spending priority, providing grants for the fuel poor and using its borrowing power to reduce the cost of Green Deal finance and encourage a greater retrofit market.
It also believes that householders need a more compelling reason to take action - including permanently linking stamp duty to energy efficiency and the introduction of robust regulation for privately rented homes - which, it says, will force landlords to improve the worst performing property.