BEIS Committee launch energy efficiency inquiry

Yesterday the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launched an inquiry into the Government’s approach to delivering energy efficiency improvements to the nation's buildings.

It follows on the back of the Clean Growth Strategy and aims to examine if the current delivery with energy efficiency in domestic, commercial and public buildings will meet the ambitions, overlaid with the future fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"Improving the energy efficiency of buildings plays a crucial role in tackling fuel poverty and helping bring down energy bills for the most vulnerable customers. Energy efficiency is vital to cutting the costs of energy for homes and businesses and is a cost-effective method of reducing our carbon emissions. In spite of this, and the inclusion of energy efficiency targets in the Clean Growth Strategy, the current rate of improvements to buildings is far too slow.

Our inquiry will examine the Government’s approach to energy efficiency, whether it is showing enough ambition in helping to tackle fuel poverty and in encouraging homeowners, businesses and landlords to upgrade. We will also be keen to explore the additional measures which may be needed to deliver energy efficiency improvements that could bring significant benefits for individuals, the economy and the environment."

The committee are asking for thoughts on the following:

Overarching approach: Who should have responsibility to pay for energy efficiency? Should energy efficiency be considered a national infrastructure priority?

Existing housing stock: Are the Government's targets to improve the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of our existing housing stock ambitious enough? Is there sufficient support in place to deliver targets for all homes to be EPC band C by 2035?  Is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) an adequate mechanism to ensure fuel-poor homes are upgraded to EPC band C by 2030?

Private rented sector: Are the Government's private rented sector regulations for energy efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings ambitious enough? Are there implementation and enforcement challenges that need to be remedied?

Regional disparities: Are there regional disparities, including in off-grid areas, in the delivery, costs and uptake of energy efficiency measures? If so, how could these be overcome?

Non-domestic sector: What does existing evidence indicate about progress being made towards greater energy efficiency in public and commercial buildings?

Lessons to learn: What lessons can be learnt from the devolved administrations on delivering energy efficiency measures?

Stuart Fairlie – Technical and Operations Director at Elmhurst states: “We are pleased that BEIS are asking these questions and we will respond in turn. We believe that more needs to be done to fill the void of policies that have been weakened and removed over the past 5 years. The Clean Growth sets the goals, and we need to see that this medium and long term strategic plan stays in place; rather that the chop and change direction previously used. Policies that encourage and enforce energy efficiency improvements must start to happen, if we are to live and work in warmer and cheaper to run buildings.”

The Deadline for written submissions is 17th January 2019

Link to BEIS website:

Article Published: 20th November 2018

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