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Affordable warmth, clean growth

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Affordable warmth, clean growth - Action Plan for a comprehensive Buildings Energy Infrastructure Programme

 

This report by Frontier Economics commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG), sets out an Action Plan for a Buildings Energy Infrastructure Programme to improve the energy performance of the UK building stock, with a specific focus on housing. The aim of this report is to assist national and local policymakers in taking forward a coordinated, long term strategy for energy efficiency and low carbon heat in buildings which drives productivity and clean growth, improves energy security, increases the likelihood of meeting carbon budgets cost-effectively, and most importantly, provides quality, sustainable buildings that are cheaper to run.

 

To succeed, the Buildings Energy Infrastructure Programme needs to be guided by a trio of ambitious and achievable targets:

 

  • From 2020: all new homes will be built to the Zero Carbon Homes standard – to prevent homeowners and tenants being locked into unnecessarily high energy costs over the lifetime of the buildings.
  • By 2030: all the homes of low income households and all homes in the rented sector will be retrofitted to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C (on a scale from A to G) – making an important contribution to reducing fuel poverty.
  • By 2035: all other homes will achieve a C rating – maximising the economic and social benefits of meeting binding climate change targets in the most cost-effective way.

The Programme would include the following key elements:

 

Public investment for low income households and households in the socially rented sector:

 

  • fully subsidised retrofits for bringing the homes of low income owner occupiers up to an energy performance rating of C;
  • 50% capital subsidy for council housing and housing association homes to upgrade properties to a C rating; and
  • 33% capital subsidy for achieving a C rating for private landlords’ properties that are let to low income tenants.

Measures aimed at driving investment and providing support for ‘able to pay’ households to 2035:

 

  • a revenue neutral adjustment to the Stamp Duty regime, which rewards a higher energy performance through a lower charge compared with a home with lower energy performance;
  • a demonstration of subsidised loan interest rates, partial upfront grants and income tax relief for home owners seeking to retrofit to a C rating; and
  • a reintroduction of the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance for energy upgrades of properties.

A stable regulatory environment for encouraging investment in all homes to 2035:

 

  • a tightening of the minimum energy performance standard in the private rented sector from EPC E to EPC D from 2025; and
  • the introduction of a minimum energy performance standard of E from 2025 applying to owner occupied homes, at point of sale or major renovation.

An institutional framework to ensure delivery, including a dedicated and independent Buildings Energy Infrastructure Agency or Unit to be established within a suitable existing body.

 

For further information please visit the link below to download the full report.