Policy certainty needed for energy efficiency, government told

The UK Government needs to provide more policy certainty for the development of the energy efficiency industry. That’s the request of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) in the wake […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The UK Government needs to provide more policy certainty for the development of the energy efficiency industry.

That’s the request of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) in the wake of inquiries by the Energy & Climate Change Committee, National Audit Office and the upcoming Bonfield Review.

The WSBF is a coalition of key UK businesses, parliamentarians, civil servants and other organisations seeking to promote effective sustainable policy in the UK.

The report says the policies are needed to cut fuel poverty “drastically” alongside energy bill savings, better home comfort and quality of living as well as slash carbon emissions.

It stated the recent changes in policy regarding energy efficiency have created “a lack of certainty and consistency which have undermined the confidence of the industry to invest in training, research, product development and marketing”.

Some of those changes include the revision of energy savings targets for the ECO programme, the ending of the Landlord’s Energy Savings Allowance and zero carbon homes standards and the discontinuation of funding for the Green Deal.

The report also recommends implementing minimum energy efficiency standards through regulation when selling and renting homes as well as regulating marketing in the private rented sector.

It suggests the government develops a scheme similar to the ‘Energiesprong’ programme in the Netherlands, which provides whole house upgrades and acts as broker between installers and the customer, making retrofitting far more financially viable.

The report also calls for greater financial support for those in fuel poverty and incentivising people to improve their home’s energy efficiency such as changes in mortgage products and lower stamp duty.

Co-chairs Peter Aldous MP and Dr Alan Whitehead MP said: “This report provides an extremely useful guide to the future of domestic energy efficiency policy. It could not come at a better time.”

DECC insists making Britain’s homes warmer is “one of the best ways of keeping energy bills down”.

It added: “Our energy supplier scheme has already improved the energy efficiency of more than 1 million homes throughout the country.

“But there is still more to do, which is why our reformed supplier obligation aims to tackle the root cause of fuel poverty by helping to insulate 1 million more homes by 2020.”