Energy Efficiency Should Be A National Infrastructure Priority
By Cynthia Taylor
Energy efficiency for households should become the top infrastructure priority in the UK, urs the UK Green Building Council.
This demand comes a year after the launch of the Green Deal. The Green Deal is the government's flagship policy for energy efficiency, this has suffered from a disappointing take-up, following the cuts to the sister scheme, the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) at the end of last year.
UK-GBC has called on the government to back energy efficiency, to create a national retrofit programme that will hep reduce consumers' energy bills permanently at the same time create thousands of jobs.
Paul King who is the chief executive of UK Green Building Council said that impriving energy efficiency of cold and draughty homes was the only way to cut a households alling bills permanently at the same time it will be a major driver towards economic growth. He continued to say that the government must ensure that energy efficiency is a top national infrastructure priority, and should be as important as aviation expansion and HS2.
Although the Gren Deal is the cornerstone policy of the UK, it has up to now being enormously under-delivered. The government should step in to create incentives that will encourage home-owners to take action and should be prepared to prioritise its capital spending on energy efficiency. If the government underwrites the Green Deal as has for the Help to Buy, this would provide an big shot in the arm for this retrofit industry.
A UK-GBC report has found that a more attractive Green Deal Finance would probably give a boost to this scheme.
The report examined the interest rate as being the barrier to the take-up of the Green Deal, it found that although the interest rate is currently 8-10% it was not the overriding issue that is deterring customers from signing up to the Green Deal and it is thought, however, the report did thing that lower rates could increase the take-up.
The report has set out a number of potential options to reduce the the interest rate:
Christoph Harwood, who is a Partner at the Marksman Consulting and who was the chairman of the Task Group, said that although the report found that the biggest barrier was not the interest rates. It recommended that lower rates could make the scheme more attractive to consumers, this can't be achieved through the standard market solutions, therefore, financial intervention at the local level or the national level, to be able to deliver these lower interest rates, in the large scale that is required.
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