UK should adopt Buildings Energy Infrastructure Programme

A new report has recommended a comprehensive Buildings Energy Infrastructure Programme to achieve major energy savings in UK homes.

Frontier Economics’ report, Affordable Warmth, Clean Growth, proposes a package of policies to improve the energy performance of UK homes, including a target for all homes to be brought up to an energy performance rating of C by 2035, with all low-income households achieving a C rating by 2030.

The report also says that homeowners who sell draughty homes could be fined, with the money raised underpinning government funding for insulating the homes of the least wealthy homeowners. Less radically, the group urge for subsidies for all low-income home-owners to make energy efficiency renovations to their properties, a requirement for new homes to be constructed to a zero-carbon standard by 2020 and changes to Stamp Duty to encourage renovations when people move home.

Gus O’Donnell, Frontier Economics chairman, said “In a world where it is difficult to guarantee getting a return above inflation on any investment, it makes sense to invest in improving the energy efficiency of your home. This cuts bills, allowing you to stay warm and help tackle climate change. Government needs to do more to encourage this investment and this report provides a programme of practical proposals on how they can do it.”

The report has won the backing of more than 20 organisations, including green campaigners, thinktanks, companies selling insulation and services, and the energy companies E.ON and Npower.