Reacting to the draft Heat and Energy Strategy in which Government says it will help ensure 7m homes will get expert advice and financial support to improve energy efficiency by 2020 Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council said the intentions were good – but needed to be acted upon.

“27% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our homes,” he said.

“Low carbon, low energy homes are good for people, good for business and essential if we are to achieve our climate change goals. Government has shown it understands the scale of the challenge and has set suitably ambitious targets.

“Crucially, this strategy also sets out some practical steps for overcoming the barriers which homeowners, landlords and social housing providers face – how to get the best information, who to trust and the high upfront costs of green refurbishment.

“There is still a lot of work to do through the consultation process, but this document provides the basis for a shared strategy, between government, industry and consumers.”

While the groundwork laid by government is to be commended, he said, the rhetoric needed to be backed by more financial incentives to encourage major green refurbishment projects.

“Government is considering a scheme in which householders access a package of low carbon measures for no upfront cost, with energy bill savings from day one that are greater than the loan repayments,” he said.

“It’s encouraging that both the Government and the Conservatives have championed this idea, and that good policy making has been put before party politics.”

“However, Government could play a stronger role by underwriting the loan scheme, to give consumers and industry confidence. If done effectively, this type of scheme could provide 40,000 new jobs in green home refurbishment.

“It’s vital we unlock these ‘green collar jobs’ over the coming years and make sure builders are properly trained, properly accredited and have the trust of householders.”

Sam Bond

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