Industry backs Government plan to boost home energy efficiency

An industry body representing green builders has backed the new Government's plans to focus on energy efficiency in homes and business as part of a new Energy Bill.

The bill was welcomed by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) when it was announced in the Queen's Speech this week, but the trade association warned against abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies, also outlined in speech.

The strategies are broad planning guides laid out by regional assemblies that aim to provide guidance to the construction sector and the utilities on provision of property, utilities, renewable energy and waste and transport infrastructure.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council said: "In the past, the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings has not had the attention it deserves.

"That is set to change with the announcement of an Energy Bill in the Queen's Speech.

"The biggest barrier preventing home owners carrying out low carbon refurbishment is the upfront cost of the measures.

"The 'Green Deal' will help overcome that problem by leveraging private sector investment - vitally important in this time of public sector spending cuts.

"The Green Deal is a continuation of the so-called Pay As You Save proposals, developed by the UK Green Building Council and initiated by the last government, but legislation was always needed to enable every home in the country to benefit from the scheme.

"The legislation is also an opportunity to create a package of additional incentives that will encourage take up of the Green Deal - and to bring forward a version of the scheme that will work for non-residential buildings.

"However, the Coalition must be careful that the proposed abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies does not result in missed opportunities to deliver sustainable infrastructure, such as heat, water and waste across local authority borders. Integrated policy to deliver these services can offer carbon and cost savings - which can be missed if we don't have a regional overview."

David Gibbs



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