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Tue, 27 October 2020

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Businesses warn of green homes jobs cliff edge

Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers Association

3 min read Partner content

As the Government launches the Green Homes Grant scheme today, leading business groups have warned that without long-term investment, green home jobs could fall off a cliff edge when the scheme ends in March 2021.

Leading business groups and NGOs have written to the Chancellor warning that without a long-term strategy confirmed soon to get UK homes on track for zero emissions over the next ten years, green jobs and investment in homes under the Green Homes Grant won’t reach their potential and could fall off a ‘cliff edge’ after stimulus scheme ends in March 2021.

MIMA as members of the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG) have written to the Chancellor, welcoming the £2 billion green home stimulus as a launchpad, but says a ten-year policy and investment strategy will be essential to provide industry and markets with the confidence and certainty to invest more in jobs and skills, now and into the long run. 

Following the pledge by the Prime Minister last week at the United Nations General Assembly that the UK “will never be lagging on lagging” , EEIG members including MIMA, highlight that a comprehensive and ambitious government programme is needed to create warm, healthy and low carbon homes.

They are calling for a further £7.8 billion of public investment to be committed to support home energy efficiency upgrades over the next four years of this Parliament. Only this can avoid boom-and-bust policy failures of the past, sustaining economic benefits and supporting recovery beyond the short timelines associated with the six-month Green Homes Grant stimulus .

The EEIG has also launched a report calling for a long-term zero carbon home programme which would directly support 190,000 jobs in energy efficiency and low carbon heat supply chains for ten years.

As a result of the programme, reduced energy costs for households would boost spending and jobs in the wider economy, especially in local services and retail, supporting over 100,000 net additional jobs for the long run – a total of 290,000 jobs.

With more energy efficiency investment needed in regions outside of London and the South East, a programme of capital investment that reduces households’ energy costs supports the Government’s goal to ‘level up’ the country. 

The report recommends that the Government sets out a blueprint to get the UK on track for zero carbon homes through forthcoming policy frameworks including the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Fuel Poverty Strategy, underpinned through sufficient public capital earmarked through the Comprehensive Spending Review, National Infrastructure Strategy and the next Budget. 

Sarah Kostense-Winterton, Executive Director at MIMA and Chair of the EEIG said:

“Whilst we welcome the boost from the £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme, it has never been more important to avoid the ‘cliff edge’ seen in past short-term green housing policies, but instead use schemes like the Green Homes Grant to provide the foundations of a longer-term investment plan. This approach will produce the sustainable jobs that we urgently need and allow UK businesses and supply chains to plan, innovate and develop.”

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