Thank you for contacting me about energy efficiency.
Buildings are responsible for around 30 per cent of our national emissions, and I know the Government recognises that upgrading home energy performance is crucial if we are to meet net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the UK economy by 2050.
I welcome the publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, which signals a step change in improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and how we heat them, while also supporting 175,000 green skilled jobs by 2030 and 240,000 green skilled jobs by 2035 while delivering £6 billion additional GVA by 2030.
The strategy announced the Government's ambition that by 2035, no new gas boilers will be sold. All new heating systems installed in UK homes will either use low-carbon technologies, such as electric heat pumps, or will support new technologies like hydrogen-ready boilers, in line with the natural replacement cycle, and once costs of low carbon alternatives have come down.
Furthermore, the Government will invest over £4 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings from this year to 2025. This includes a new £450 million three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme which will see households offered and grants of up to £5,000 for low-carbon heating systems, such as a heat pump, so they cost the same as a gas boiler now. I am encouraged that £1.75 billion will be provided for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Scheme and Home Upgrade Grants, with £1.425 billion for Public Sector Decarbonisation which has the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75 per cent by 2037.
I am glad that the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme (GHGVS) helped around 60,000 households become more energy efficient through measures such as installing cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, an air source heat pump or double or triple glazing windows when upgrading single glazing. This has helped many families save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills a year. While this particular scheme has closed, the Government remains dedicated to increasing the efficiency of low income homes across England to tackle our contribution to climate change. The funding previously allocated for the GHGVS now supports a scheme that targets low income households which will be distributed by local authorities. This additional £300 million of funding increases the Government’s total spending on energy efficiency measures to £1.3 billion for 2021.
In addition, as included in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government set out its aspiration for as many homes as possible to be Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2035 where cost effective, affordable and practical, and to reach this standard by 2030 for fuel poor homes. To achieve this, it will need to mobilise up to £65 billion for upgrades, which will put us on a path to net zero, significantly reduce household energy bills, and improve our health and wellbeing. It will also create new opportunities for the energy efficiency sector, currently the largest part of the low carbon and renewable energy economy.
Work is underway to build a vibrant and sustainable market through introducing a suite of policies and measures that will drive uptake of energy efficiency:
- Through the Energy Company Obligation, over 2 million homes have had energy efficiency improvements since 2013. The Government is committed to extending this support to 2028, driving more than £6 billion of investment in domestic energy efficiency.
- Energy suppliers are required to provide low income and vulnerable households with energy efficiency and heating upgrades under the ECO.
- Investing a further £6.3 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the worst homes and improve the energy performance of social housing.
- A commitment to publish consultations on a long-term trajectory to improve the energy performance standards of privately rented homes, and on setting requirements for lenders to improve the energy performance of homes they lend to.
New homes are now expected to emit 31 per cent less CO2 and, in addition, a Future Homes Standard will be introduced in 2025. This will see new build homes future-proofed with low carbon heating and world leading standards of energy efficiency to produce 75-80 per cent less CO2 emissions.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP