New Committee on Climate Change report questions whether our UK Housing is Fit for the Future.

Posted On: 
21st February 2019

Sarah Kostense-Winterton, MIMA’s Executive Director & Chair of the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group commented:

"“Making homes low carbon, energy efficient and climate resilient must be a pressing UK national infrastructure priority. We must take note of and mirror Scotland’s lead with their national infrastructure programme for homes. Chancellor Hammond please take note" - Sarah Kostense-Winterton, MIMA’s Executive Director & Chair of the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group
Credit: 
PA

“The new CCC report clearly reaffirms the urgent need for the Treasury to take the lead on ensuring UK homes are energy efficient. With little policy and decimated funding for home energy efficiency, home insulation has fallen off the precipice with a severe drop of 95% since 2012. Unless action is taken immediately the cost of retrofitting our homes could be up to five times what it is now combined with higher health and NHS costs, higher energy bills for us all and the governments complete failure to meet carbon budgets.”

“Making homes low carbon, energy efficient and climate resilient must be a pressing UK national infrastructure priority. We must take note of and mirror Scotland’s lead with their national infrastructure programme for homes. Chancellor Hammond please take note.”

The next Treasury spending review provides the perfect opportunity for the Chancellor and government to act.  We are already aware this will be giving extra focus to ‘cross-cutting issues’, of which energy efficiency in homes is an obvious one. The issue clearly crosses the remits of HM Treasury, BEIS, MHCLG, DEFRA, Health, amongst others.

There is a plethora of reports and research to support action and warning of the consequences of inaction. Most recently the think tank ECIU stated that the decision to scrap the Zero Carbon Homes policy directly caused an additional £200 on annual energy bills of UK citizens living in new build homes- hitting those people the government are trying to help own their own home.

The National Infrastructure Commission has already designated energy efficiency as an infrastructure priority and in its first Assessment called for the government to have 21000 insulation measures a week in place by 2020 to meet its own targets on home energy efficiency.  HM Treasury will have to respond to NIC recommendations by July 2019.

MIMA as a member of the EEIG has set out with Frontier Economics, the blueprint (https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/211ae0_91357318ee584e2c841b438cfb11f50e.pdf) for a practical and achievable energy efficiency infrastructure programme for government.

This issue is not going away and we continue to see this raised consistently supported by strong evidence with government. Now we await the outcomes of both the new BEIS select committee inquiry into energy efficiency, starting on 26 February and the imminent BEIS “action plan” on energy efficiency which will aim to show how the government plans to meets its targets of all homes being up to EPC C by 2035 and fuel poor homes to EPC C by 2030, set out in the government’s own Clean Growth Strategy.

Let’s break out of the echo chamber of just talking about this issue and take positive action with HM Treasury stepping up to the challenge and leading from the front. Surely a promising legacy for any Chancellor!

The full CCC ‘UK Housing: Fit for the Future?’ can be found here.

With supporting infographic here.