Proposal from Kingspan Insulation for council tax incentives, green mortgages and Home Upgrade Grants to help reduce energy demand within existing UK homes

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The Chancellor’s Summer Statement confirmed funding to help households invest in the energy efficiency of their homes as part of the Green Homes Grant. Kingspan Insulation has published a series of recommendations to further drive investment and provide the market conditions to drive sustainable demand for energy efficient products. The paper, which has already been shared with policy makers, brings together work undertaken by the company over recent years to inform the policy debate.

Whilst the new grant scheme is welcome, this report emphasises the need for a holistic package of measures including incentives, information provision and regulation to bring the worst performing properties up to standard. The policies outlined in the report target the ‘able to pay’ market, which represents the largest proportion of housing and the worst energy performance ratings.

Kingspan Insulation has recommended financial levers to help overcome the upfront cost barrier to uptake and encourage action through differential council tax incentives such as rebates for the installation of energy efficiency measures or variable rates based on carbon emissions. Other options include grants such as the Home Upgrade Grants confirmed yesterday by the Chancellor, and Green Mortgages, in line with the pilot scheme announced recently by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). In addition, the paper recommends the introduction of building passports to improve awareness and understanding of property performance and provide households with renovation roadmaps. These measures are supported by the Committee on Climate Change in their latest progress report to Parliament.

As plans are introduced to align the economic recovery with the low-carbon transition, this paper seeks to support the Government in its decision-making. Supporting energy efficiency upgrades will enhance the ‘Green Recovery’ creating jobs across the country, lowering energy costs and importantly contributing to the UK’s Net Zero target.

Adrian Pargeter from Kingspan Insulation said: “The need to reduce emissions and lower energy demand from our buildings has never been clearer. It is essential that the Government seizes the opportunity of a Green Recovery by introducing an ambitious policy framework that will not only help households in the short-term but also provides a sustainable market and delivers long-term change so that the UK meets its carbon targets and we realise the economic benefits associated with supporting energy efficiency improvements. We hope that this paper contributes to the debate and we look forward to the upcoming Buildings and Heat Roadmap and the Spending Review later this year which we are optimistic will take on board some of these policy recommendations.

Simon Storer, Chief Executive of Insulation Manufacturers Association said: “We welcome and support the paper published by our member Kingspan Insulation which clearly sets out a suite of policies to encourage retrofit in the able to pay sector. If we are to achieve net zero carbon by 2050, it is essential to motivate this sector towards the installation of energy efficiency measures in a fabric first approach. This includes installing high quality insulation which will provide long-term and cost effective savings for consumers, with opportunities in a green jobs market, whilst ensuring that homes are fit for the future.”

The paper can be viewed here.

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