Climate Change Committee tells the Government to get moving

An independent report by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) on the Clean Growth Strategy issued today, aligns with Elmhurst's view that whilst the ambition is good; what is now needed is the detailed policy.

The report analyses the Clean Growth Strategy in different sectors including energy efficiency in buildings.

In the report Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC states:  “The Strategy, and related announcements, has set out strong ambitions – including to improve the energy efficiency of our homes; to phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040; and to reach 85% of UK electricity generation from low-carbon sources in 2032. These are very positive signals. However, whilst some new policies are announced in the Strategy, the detailed policies and measures to meet the targets are not, in general, set out. Urgent policy development is therefore required.”

Gaps in Policy were identified by the CCC:

  • Buildings energy efficiency. The overarching trajectory set out for improving the efficiency of the existing building stock is promising. Details need to be set out on how this will be delivered, particularly for 'able-to-pay' homeowners for whom there are still no firm policies to drive the necessary actions.”

  • Low-carbon heat. Immediate priorities include retargeting the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) towards heat pumps and biomethane, developing and setting out proposals for the fossil fuel phase-out for buildings off the gas grid, and further work to secure low-carbon supply mixes for new and existing heat networks (including waste heat from industry and large water- and sewage-source heat pumps).

  • New buildings. Standards need to be developed that deliver high levels of fabric efficiency and future-proof properties for low-carbon heat. Existing commitments under EU law will need to remain in place or be replaced with equivalent standards following the UK's exit from the EU. It is also vital that the performance gap between design and actual performance is addressed in order to realise energy savings and deliver high-quality homes.

  • Public sector. Plans for a voluntary target across the public sector to 2020/21 need to be developed alongside the monitoring and reporting framework. This should be combined with further work on how public procurement can be harnessed to drive higher standards in commercial buildings and new homes, and to support low-carbon heat supply chains.

Stuart Fairlie Technical Director at Elmhurst states “We very much welcome the Independent CCC report; it recognises that the Clean Growth Strategy was long overdue and has good high level ambition. The report identifies various policy gaps and encourages Government to get going. The recent plethora of consultations taking place should have given both Government Departments DCLG (now MHCLG) and BEIS some views on how to turn the ambition into reality. We welcome the push to get upgrading as many homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2035, including all rented and fuel-poor homes by 2030, but this needs a framework in order to be successful. The push for Building Regulations to be tightened in terms of energy efficiency is also welcomed, as is a new focus of improving business energy efficiency by at least 20% by 2030.”

Elmhurst welcomes the report by CCC and will work with the Government Departments to ensure that Energy Performance Certificates and Energy Assessors are at the heart of future policy to ensure that this country provides warmer, cheaper to run and cleaner homes and business. 

For further Information:

The Official CCC Report:

CCC Infographic, Independent Assessment of Clean Growth Strategy:

BBC news: 

Article Published: 17th January 2018

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