In today’s statement from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, measures to drive a green recovery were announced with £2 billion allocated for the Green Homes Grant (vouchers for homeowners and landlords up to £5,000 per household and £10,000 for the worst off) and £1bn of funding to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings. According to the Government these measures are designed to make 650,000 homes more energy efficient, saving families £300 a year.
For social housing, a £50 million pilot scheme will be launched to demonstrate the right approach to decarbonising social housing.
The Chancellor also announced he will cut stamp duty to reinvigorate the housing market.
Commenting on today’s statement Jade Lewis, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association said:
“Great to see the Government is taking steps to encourage the green recovery through the Green Homes Grant recognising the importance of energy efficiency and housing in supporting employment and the post- Covid economic recovery. Another encouraging step is the investment in social housing aimed at helping social landlords improve the least energy-efficient social rented properties (The SEA published a report in September that demonstrates how social housing can lead the way to net-zero). However, there are more than 650,000 homes that need support with millions of families across the country living in the depths of fuel poverty and struggling to pay their energy bills. The truth is that living in a decent home should not be privilege; nobody should have to make the choice between heating and eating. And whilst the day-to-day reality of these homes hit hardest for those living in them, the impacts extend beyond leaky walls and windows in myriad ways. They stand in the way of UK climate targets, contribute to social inequality and injustice, cause and exacerbate health conditions and inflate costs for the NHS every year. “
As plans are put in place to align the Covid-19 recovery with the low carbon transition, improving the energy efficiency of homes should be a priority. The Sustainable Energy Association has been calling for a simple solution – home energy upgrades to be legislated through the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill. If introduced, the legislation will trigger industry investment, stimulate green growth, save the NHS £2 billion a year in England alone and enable millions of people to live in decent, warm homes. Over 100 businesses recently supported the letter coordinated by the SEA to the Energy Minister, calling for its introduction as part of the green recovery. This simple and effective solution would create a sustainable market and requires the Government to simply put in place a framework around their existing targets.”