Green recovery is impossible without tackling Britain’s leaky homes and buildings

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Tackling the UK’s leaky housing and building stock must be a central part of the UK’s stimulus to recover from Covid-19, according to the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG).

EEIG members including IMA, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Energy UK and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are highlighting that, if the government is going to live up to promises to build back better it must bring in policies to revolutionise the quality of British homes.

A new report – Rebuilding for Resilience – details how a programme to upgrade the nation’s homes would create 50,000 jobs in just two years, and 150,000 by 2030. It would also save £7.5 billion from national energy costs, equivalent to £270 per home per year.

The report also details how areas with the highest potential for upgrading homes are closely linked to those seeing an increase in unemployment during the current crisis. Upgrading the nation’s homes can start right away and continue for a generation, locking in good jobs for thousands of Brits.

The construction sector, a bellwether for the UK economy, has been particularly hard hit by the current crisis. Kicking off an ambitious home upgrades programme would directly stimulate the industry, bringing at least £3.5bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the sector each year, the report finds.

An EE programme would deliver £1.25 of tax revenue for every £1 of public money invested and drive a total of £6.2 billion investment over the next two years in our homes, schools and hospitals.

Simon Storer, Chief Executive of IMA said “If we are to have the green recovery that everyone is talking about, then the government must turn this vision into action and ensure that the fabric of our housing stock meets the energy performance needed to achieve the 2050 zero carbon target. The government must find a way that is both persuasive and attractive for the refurbishment of the existing housing stock to happen and with a financial model that ensures this commitment becomes a reality. Too many ideas have failed in the past because the investment models could not be made to work. We are running out of time for this not to work this time around.”

Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy at the CBI said:
“A national energy efficiency programme is long overdue and now is the time to deliver. This is essential if we are to reach net-zero emissions and delivering this programme would create a major employment opportunity – providing much needed jobs across the UK and supporting our economic recovery.

“Bringing forward the government’s manifesto commitments on energy efficiency would be a vital first step to delivering this programme. Government must also support this national priority with plans to provide new skills and training programmes.”

Pedro Guertler, author of the EEIG report and Head of Energy Efficiency at climate and energy think tank E3G said:

“There is no other infrastructure project that can do more for the UK’s clean and resilient economic recovery than making our buildings energy efficient. It can quickly boost local jobs in areas of greatest need, stimulate demand by saving households hundreds of pounds whilst improving health and slashing carbon emissions. It delivers immediate benefit, prepares us for the future, and must be put at the heart of the Chancellor’s stimulus plan if the Government is serious about building back better.”

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