PRESS RELEASE: Industry back UKGBC’s call for energy efficiency and home retrofit in Spring Statement

UKGBC, along with 28 prominent business leaders have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging government to prioritise support for domestic energy efficiency and low carbon heat in the Spring Statement as a “common-sense response”.
Spring Statement Letter updated

Published on

March 21, 2022

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Summary:

  • The letter, coordinated by UKGBC, highlights to government the critical role energy efficiency investment can play in tackling some the major issues the country currently faces.
  • Benefits of prioritising energy efficiency include delivering permanent energy security, tackling the climate emergency, lowering household bills, addressing fuel poverty and supporting the levelling up agenda.  
  • Signatories  include leading business in property, construction, energy and across the built environment, such as E.ON UK, Grosvenor Property UK, Barratt Developments PLC, Landsec, and JLL UK Ltd.  

One in every six tonnes of carbon emitted in the UK comes from homes, meaning there is huge potential for improvement. Signatories of the letter state, “as businesses committed to the UK’s transition to net zero, we know our sector cannot meet its goals alone without more Government action to decarbonise homes,” and that they are “deeply concerned that vast amounts of gas are wasted by heat leaking from the UK’s homes, and that up to six million households face fuel poverty from April.” 

The letter outlines the funding and financial incentives needed to kick start a large-scale home upgrade effort that could be announced immediately in the Spring Statement. These include: 

  1. Fulfil the 2019 manifesto promise of £9.2bn in investment for green homes and buildings, by spending the extra £2bn that’s currently missing.  
  2. Introduce financial incentives such as removing VAT on refurbishment work and low carbon heat sources. Provide a long term, revenue neutral, structural demand driver through a variable stamp duty adjusted in line with the energy performance of a property. 
  3. Expand the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which is currently limited to 90,000 heat pump installations – a figure dwarfed by Government’s aim of reaching 600,000 installations per year by 2028. 
  4. Announce a successor to the Green Homes Grant Scheme to support owner-occupiers, but with sustained funding and designed to scale up over the coming few years.  

UKGBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Julie Hirigoyen, said:

“Energy bills are shooting up, leaving millions of households facing fuel poverty, and energy prices are likely to remain elevated for years. Making domestic energy efficiency a priority is not only the responsible thing to do for public finances, but it will help towards the Government’s energy independence and levelling up agendas, not to mention accelerating our journey towards a net zero carbon economy. The government must invest now in long term solutions to stop vast amounts of energy being wasted by heat leaking from the UK’s homes.”

READ THE LETTER HERE

 

List of signatories:  

  • Richard Whitehead, Managing Director – Buildings + Places, Europe & India – AECOM 
  • Nigel Tonks, Sustainable Development Director ARUP 
  • David Partridge, Chairman – Argent Related 
  • Jason Sibthorpe, U.K. President – Avison Young 
  • David Thomas, Chief Executive – Barratt Developments PLC  
  • Rab Bennetts, Founder – Bennetts Associates 
  • Chris Oglesby, Group CEO – Bruntwood 
  • Ciaran Bird, Divisional President, Advisory Services, CEO UK & Ireland – CBRE  
  • Ray Upjohn, Chief Executive, chapmanbdsp 
  • Richard Cook, Group Director of Development – Clarion Housing Group 
  • Digby Flower, Chair UK & Ireland – Cushman & Wakefield 
  • Michael Lewis, CEO – E.ON UK plc 
  • Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner – FORE Partnership 
  • Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, GPE
  • James Raynor, CEO, Grosvenor Property UK 
  • Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive – Harworth Group PLC 
  • Chris Brown, Executive Chair – igloo Regeneration 
  • Stephanie Hyde, UK Chief Executive – JLL UK Ltd
  • Mark Allan, CEO – Land Securities Group PLC 
  • Bill Hughes, Global Head of Real Assets – Real Assets, Legal & General Investment Management 
  • Sunand Prasad, Principal – Perkins&will  
  • Will Bax, Chief Executive – Retirement Villages Group 
  • Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive – SCAPE 
  • Mark Kildea, CEO – The Howard de Walden Estate 
  • Mike Hood, Managing Director – U and I Group Limited 
  • Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive – UKGBC  
  • Nathan Cornish, Group Board Director – Urban Splash 
  • David Allen, Chief Executive – Wates Group 
  • Rick Willmott, Chief Executive – Willmott Dixon