Responding to the UK Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, Gillian Charlesworth, CEO, Building Research Establishment (BRE), commented:
“The Heat and Buildings Strategy is a good start, though it doesn’t provide the full set of policies we need to get the built environment on track for net zero.
“Moving away from gas for home heating is crucial if the UK is to meet its net zero targets, and we are pleased to see clear recognition that heat pumps are the technology most likely to get us there, as well as new investment to support low carbon improvements in public sector buildings and social housing.
“However, there are still billions of pounds missing from the Government’s manifesto commitment of £9.2bn for decarbonising the built environment.
“We had hoped for a replacement to the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme to provide private home owner occupiers with support for fabric first measures, like insulation.
“Privately owned homes are the least energy efficient part of the UK housing stock and we would like to see fiscal incentives through council tax or VAT to encourage decarbonisation. These incentives, along with changes to business rates, will be equally vital for small businesses, who will also need a clear plan and support to transition to net zero.
“The success of the strategy will depend on its implementation, and we need more detail on how the Government will support industry to train and retrain the hundreds of thousands of workers needed to retrofit Britain’s ageing housing stock, who will make a vital contribution to levelling up.
“The Government has another opportunity to outline its plans to address these challenges in next week’s Budget, which we will be watching keenly.”