In the light of the Prime Minister’s words to Parliament on 3rd June (Hansard col 842) that ‘the green recovery will be essential to this country’s success in the next few years,’ more than 100 leading UK businesses – investors, organisations, leading manufacturers, energy performance assessors and installers – including members of the Sustainable Energy Association, are writing to the Energy Minister, the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, urging him to work with “business managers” to ensure that time is made in the House of Lords to enable the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill to progress.
The Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill will enshrine the Government’s promises for all fuel poor homes to reach energy performance Standard level C by 2030 and all other homes by 2035 into law.
The Minister told the Sustainable Energy Association at its reception on the 24th February that the Government will ‘legislate for the same thing ourselves’.
Following industry, academia, and inter-ministerial support for a green economic recovery post-Covid19, the Bill offers a simple but effective strategy for decarbonising the current housing stock. The letter argues that the certainty of statutory targets is required to trigger the level of investment needed to ensure that the Government reaches its own EPC targets, fifth Carbon Budget and net zero by 2050. A long-term trajectory would send a strong signal to investors and manufacturers to scale up investment and production.
This legislation is also essential for addressing key public interest concerns, such as high unemployment, inequality, fuel poverty and climate change. In addition to enabling millions of people to live in decent, warm homes, bringing poor-quality homes up to standard will save the NHS up to £2 billion a year in England alone.
Lord Foster, who is taking the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill forward in the House of Lords, said:
“This Bill just requires the Government to simply put in place legislation around their existing targets, meaning that regardless of changes in Government, the legacy to improve homes and tackle the climate crisis will remain.
“The legislation will provide the certainty needed to trigger vital investment, support a sustainable economic recovery and stimulate green growth after lockdown. It is now fundamental that we see commitment and action from Government in supporting the Bill if we want to achieve a housing stock fit for future generations, have far reaching implications in tackling climate change and help the least well off whilst we do so.”