CIEH calls for long-term energy efficiency programme across housing sector

08 July 2020, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has welcomed the announcement of £3bn of investment to create green jobs and upgrade energy efficiency of buildings, but called for a long-term programme and the inclusion of the Private Rented Sector.

In advance of the Chancellor’s Summer Statement later today, the Government has announced:

  • £2bn Green Homes Grant with vouchers of up to £5,000 to help homeowners upgrade their homes, with up to £10,000 available to some of the UK's poorest families
  • £1bn programme to make public buildings, including schools and hospitals, across the UK greener

To coincide with the Chancellor’s Summer Statement, CIEH has today published its new briefing for MPs and Peers on energy efficiency, calling for a long-term and sustained funding programme underpinned by a strategy to improve homes in every tenure. The briefing focusses on the private rented sector and the need to raise standards and to introduce a national register of rented property to ensure standards are better enforced. This sector is largely missed out from the Chancellor’s announcement.

The Government’s ambition is to upgrade as many homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2035 “where practical, cost-effective and affordable”. CIEH’s briefing calls for clear targets on number of homes to be improved, so it is possible to hold the Government to account on whether its ambition is achieved.

Tamara Sandoul, Policy and Campaigns Manager at CIEH said:

“This announcement is very welcome at a time when our economy needs a boost. The UK has some of the highest rates of excess winter mortality in Europe, relative to cold conditions, so this funding is long overdue and should bring long term rewards in terms of improved public health, reduced carbon emissions and lower energy bills for consumers.

It is vital that this funding is part of a long-term strategy aimed at all tenures, which provides sustained investment to improve homes and support newly created jobs in this field. The private rented sector must be part of this strategy.
Currently, the cost cap that comes with the minimum standard means that only half of the most energy inefficient homes will reach the standard of EPC Band E.

Cold homes come with health impacts and it is important that the most inefficient and hard to treat homes are not left behind. During the lockdown we have all experienced what it’s like to spend long periods of time at home. Should a second wave come in the colder months, many households could struggle to keep warm.”

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