Energy Efficiency Should Be A National Infrastructure Priority
by Cynthia Taylor
Energy efficiency for households should become the top infrastructure priority in the UK, argues 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 help 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 improving energy efficiency of cold and draughty homes said that this was the only way to cut the spiralling household 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 Green 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 it 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 of the Green Deal, it found that although the interest rate is currently 8-10% it was not the overriding issue that's deterring customers from signing up to the Green Deal and it is thought, however, that the report did think 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 Marksman Consulting, chaired the Task Group, said that the report found that although the current interest rates are not the largest barrier to the take up of Green Deal finance, he said that lower rates would definitely make the scheme more attractive to consumers.
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