A coalition of 20 organisations from the construction, housing and environment sectors has written to the Treasury calling for a massive spending programme to transform the existing housing stock.
They argue that Government should direct £3-4bn a year in capital investment to fund a massive retrofitting programme.
This would equate to around 8% of the annual national infrastructure spending budget and help to address market failures as well as leverage substantial extra private investment.
In an open letter to Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, the trade body heads warn that the country’s homes are among the “coldest and draughtiest in Europe”.
This results in high energy bills and “one of the worst records on fuel poverty and preventable winter deaths”.
The leaders write: “Domestic energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective ways to achieve the Government’s three strategic priorities for energy infrastructure: controlling energy bills, tackling climate change and unlocking investment to support economic growth.”
“No other investment can achieve so much for individual householders and for UK Plc.”
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “There’s a gaping hole at the heart of the Government’s plan for infrastructure, and that gaping hole is the energy efficiency of our aging housing stock.
“Government has so far failed to recognise the huge opportunities it presents.But it’s not too late.”
The letter comes as the group of organisations publishes a short report, titled A housing stock fit for the future, setting out the strong economic benefits for improving home energy efficiency.
Benefits of massive retrofit programme
- Generating significant economic growth and doubling the number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector to 260,000.
- Improving energy security and reducing the UK’s reliance on imported gas.
- Reducing carbon emissions to meet carbon targets and combat climate change.
- Permanently reducing energy bills by £300 a year and lifting nine out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty.
- Improving health and wellbeing, reducing excess winter deaths and lowering NHS and social care costs.
Signatories to the letter and supporters of the report
Association for the Conservation of Energy
Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency
Centre of Refurbishment Excellence
Energy Bill Revolution
Energy Saving Trust
Federation of Master Builders
Forum for the Future
Friends of the Earth
National Energy Action
National Energy Foundation
National Housing Federation
National Insulation Association
SHIFT – Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow
Sustainable Energy Association
UK Green Building Council