In an open letter to the energy minister signed by a group of our members, we set out six policies for the government to implement to decarbonise heat and buildings, secure future-proof green jobs and support small businesses.
We highlight the poor track record of national policy for heat decarbonisation and call for the upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy to give an action-focused, forward-looking plan to support the industry. The letter’s signatories include businesses that have been harmed by the delivery and closure of the Green Homes Grant, some of whom are still awaiting payments through the voucher scheme.
The letter also highlights the scale of the heat decarbonisation challenge; according to analysis by the Climate Change Committee, heat pump deployment will need to be scaled up to 1 million/year by 2030 and loft insulation to 700,000 installations/year by 2025.
The six recommendations in the letter call for the government to:
- Implement a long-term, funded support scheme for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation retrofit which avoids the ‘boom and bust’ cycles created by past initiatives and provides long-term support and confidence for the industry and consumers
- Address the distortion of environmental levies being paid on low carbon electricity bills by implementing a carbon levy scheme based on the carbon intensity of heating fuels, which will also support consumer adoption of low carbon heating solution
- Give local authorities responsibility for planning for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency, with control over funding (including ECO)
- Continue support for whole house retrofit approaches through funding schemes and incentive mechanisms
- Introduce support for shared ground arrays based on a utility finance model to enable the take up of ground source heat pumps
- Ban new fossil fuel heating in off gas grid properties by 2026