Heat and Buildings Strategy: energy efficiency in buildings is key to decarbonisation


The Aldersgate Group welcomes the Government’s announcements in relation to its Heat and Buildings Strategy, set to be published imminently, which will be instrumental in tackling the built environment’s share of emissions, representing 17% of the UK total. [1] To maximise economic opportunities and deliver lower bills for customers, the Group highlights the importance of additional regulatory and fiscal measures to drive energy efficiency retrofits.

Ana Musat, Head of Policy at the Aldersgate Group, said: “Decarbonising the UK’s built environment is a significant challenge, but one that comes with major opportunities – including job creation potential, reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, and delivering lower bills for customers. The strategy is set to include important measures for realising that vision, such as a commitment to accelerate the installation of heat pumps, innovation funding to bring down the cost of installation, and grants to help households meet the upfront cost. All of these measures are fundamental to deliver a fair transition to clean heat, mobilising critical private sector investment and growing supply chains.”

Ana Musat added: “To build on these strong foundations, Government should set clear regulatory and fiscal measures to drive the uptake of energy efficiency retrofits, which will be key to lowering energy bills and tackling fuel poverty, as well as reducing demand on the grid. Energy efficiency retrofits can also create significant economic activity and job creation, being labour-intensive and rooted in local supply chains: 108,000 net new jobs could be created annually until 2030 through energy efficiency. [2] There is also potential to scale up these projects by investing in skills, for instance through the rapid implementation of the Green Jobs Taskforce’s recommendations. [3] Measures like the rollout of minimum energy efficiency standards for domestic buildings and commercial properties and a reduction of VAT for energy efficiency retrofits will be essential in creating demand and and attracting investment into insulation and deep retrofits.”

[1] Climate Change Committee, Sixth Carbon Budget
[2] Cambridge Econometrics & Verco for Customer Focus (October 2012) Jobs, growth and warmer homes: evaluating the economic stimulus of investing in energy efficiency measures in fuel poor homes
[3] Aldersgate Group has been part of the Green Jobs Taskforce and helped shape the final recommendations of the report