What’s Going On Here?
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners will receive vouchers for energy-saving home improvements in England, with the poorest getting up to £10,000.
What Does This Mean?
A £2bn grant scheme has been announced as part of a wider £3bn “green investment” package announced in the chancellor’s summer statement yesterday.The scheme is a welcome injection of cash into the home retrofit industry, which has long been calling for effective investment. It will allow homeowners to install insulation and other energy saving measures with the government covering ⅔ of the cost.
Responding to the initial reports, Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) said:
“This announcement of £3bn is a welcome first step.But it is essential that the funding announced this week is not just another one-off that creates boom and bust in the energy efficiency industry.”Julie Hirigoyen – CEO, UKGBC
We’ll be a little more direct than the UKGBC, this is not enough to bring about the improvements needed in the UK housing stock and doesn’t measure up to the environmental and economic crisis.
It barely scratches the surface only reaching 650,000 homes when two thirds of UK homes fail on energy efficiency targets. We sure hope there is more to come… where’s the £9.2 billion for energy efficiency pledged in the Conservative manifesto for public buildings and low income homes?
Why Should We Care?
Buildings are a large part of our environmental footprint. In 2019, the residential sector emitted 65.2 MtCO2, accounting for 19% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK.
The Committee on Climate Change explained that these residential emissions need to fall by at least 24% by 2030 from 1990 levels, but are currently off track.
Without getting too technical, retrofitting homes isn’t just about energy savings. Improving the quality of existing housing stock (29 million UK homes) would also:
- reduce fuel poverty;
- minimise overheating;
- improve indoor air quality, and;
- boost occupant health and wellbeing.
- What is the energy performance of the home you live in? Use your postcode to find your EPC rating
- Explore home energy saving quick wins form the Energy Savings Trust.